The gorgeous spring weather has finally come out and at the weekend I spent a lovely evening in Leeds, enjoying the laid back vibes that the city has to offer when we all take off our coats, relax a little more and let in the sunshine.
Part of our very pleasant evening out was a romantic meal for two at Iberica – a tapas restaurant set in a beautifully converted auction house in central Leeds – on East Parade. My husband and I were on a rare date night, a chance to re-connect and talk, laugh and eat and we couldn’t have picked a better place to do this. Taste and sharing are important in daily Spanish life, and this restaurant brings together those priorities along with a style and sophistication that one would expect from a Leeds dining venue.
We started our evening with drinks in the bar, Iberica has a wood panelled, cosy winged armchair area at the front of the restaurant which manages to be both welcoming and grand at the same time. It was busy and atmospheric, but not so bustling that we couldn’t find a seat, and we settled in for a lovely chat. When our table was ready, the waitress took us over and we were brought some bread and meats to start us off. We ordered the tapas we wanted and as per tradition, the tapas came out to the table as and when they were ready – dishes brought one after the other, surprising us with the taste and texture.
Spain has a rich gastronomic culture and to have the ability to access this easily in the heart of Leeds is wonderful – with the good food and the beautiful weather we enjoyed last weekend, it felt like we could have been in Spain on holiday. Not bad for a trip into Leeds on a Saturday!
Some of the dishes we enjoyed were: Classic tapas; tortilla, patatas bravas, albondigas (meatballs) alongside some artisan cheeses including Manchego and San Simon. We also had the cured meats – chorizo and cecina,and some seasonal vegetables.
A particular favourite was the pork secreto (Pictured bottom right on the photo above). This is native Iberico pork and is served with Mojo Rojo sauce and rosemary potatoes – the meat was so tender and tasty, it melted in the mouth. Definitely one to try.
Even though we didn’t have much room left, I couldn’t turn down a pudding! But for lightness and an palette cleanse, I went for sorbet and ice cream whilst my husband had the signature dish, caramelised rice pudding which the Spanish call Arroz Con Leche. We tasted each others and both were delicious – the rice pudding was cold which I didn’t expect but this classic recipe is served in households all over Spain and can be served either hot or cold. It is rich and sweet with a touch of lemon flavour – a perfect end to the meal.
Spain has long been a cultural centre of Europe and Iberica has brought that passion and culture to not only Leeds but their other restaurants in Manchester, Glasgow and several locations in London too. We’ll definitely try one of their other venues in the future!
Thank you to the team at Iberica Leeds for hosting us for the purpose of this review.