The first thing that struck us was the venue itself. Set in Hepper House on East Parade, this is the Grade II listed building that used to house Bonhams auction house. The decor is fantastic, with huge windows and numerous modern touches throughout. The team at Iberica did really well to pick up this venue as it stands head and shoulders above many places to eat in Leeds in terms of vibe and look.

We were met by a friendly waiter, who gave us the option of a drink in the bar before we took our seats. Quickly ordering drinks, we relaxed into high backed leather chairs and soaked in the atmosphere.

Iberica Leeds bar area

After enough time to make a good impression on our drinks, we were invited through to our table. The seating in the restaurant is fantastic, giving you enough space to feel that you have a little privacy, yet at the same time managing to fill the vast main restaurant space. The vibe is continued through here, with a soaring high ceiling, chandeliers and a huge roof window.

Extensive Spanish Wine List….

It was at this point, we caught our first glimpse of the impressive wine list. You would expect this at any Spanish restaurant, but the selection on offer at Iberica, at surprisingly reasonable prices, made my wine loving dinner companion grin with delight. With at least 50 different options, all from different Spanish wineries, this truly is a showcase of Spanish wine at its best.

Naturally, we didn’t recognise even a fraction of the wine list but the same friendly waiter who invited us in was close at hand to help us choose. We opted for a bottle Aljibes Red and got stuck straight into the food menu.

Iberica Leeds wine

The food at Iberica carries quite some pedigree, Nacho Manzano, the Executive Chef is legendary in Spain. He owns some of the countries finest Michelin stared restaurants, so we were excited to try as much of the menu as sensibly possible!

We were advised that 6 or 7 Tapas would be more than enough for two people, so we opted for – Crispy Cauliflower and Pak Choi, Twice Cooked Lamb, Mini Burgers, Fried Chorizo Lollipops, Rib Eye Steak and Scallops. We also ordered the mouth watering Artisan Cheese Selection Board, to round everything off.

As with all Tapas restaurants, the food comes out in the order at which it is ready, so once our order had been taken (quickly, by an attentive and informative waitress) we settled down in anticipation of what would greet us first.

The Main Event….

The first food to come out was the Crispy Cauliflower and Pak Choi. Weirdly, this was likely my favourite part of the meal. The Cauliflower was very lightly fried and when combined with Pak Choi, it created a perfect balance. Certainly something I will be trying at home!

Next out were the very aptly named, Chorizo Lollipops. I absolutely love Chorizo and the portion was very generous, so these did not last very long at all. The Chorizo was cooked to perfection and mouth watering to say the least.

Iberica Leeds chorizo lolipops

Shortly after, followed the Mini Burgers and Twice Cooked Lamb. I am a burger connoisseur and I had no complaints (I often do!) about these at all. They were not over cooked and nicely garnished. The Twice Cooked Lamb, however, was a different world. It literally fell apart as soon as our forks hit it and I would happily eat 7 portions of just the lamb alone. I highly recommend any meat lovers visiting the venue try the lamb. Yum!

Iberica Leeds lamb

By this time, my companion especially was starting to slow down. The Tapas portions at Iberica are generous so we welcomed a very short break before the arrival of the Rib Eye Steak and Scallops dishes. As with the Lamb, the Rib Eye Steak was perfectly cooked and genuinely melted in the mouth. Scallops are hard to cook right, but the chefs made an excellent job of the seasoning and ensured that the finished product was not rubbery.

Iberica Leeds scallops

I think the serving staff could now see we were close to collapsing into self induced food coma’s and asked if we would like to take a break before the arrival of our cheese board. We took them up on that, and relaxed into our chairs to make an impression on our barely started bottle of red.

After a suitable gap, the cheese board was brought out, featuring a fantastic selection of Spanish artisan cheeses. Our favourite was the Manchego. A sheep cheese from Castilla with some great nutty flavours.

Iberica Leeds cheese board

By this time, we could manage nothing more than a double espresso before the short walk back to Leeds train station to travel home. Overall, we were both delighted by the Iberica experience. It has a very unique atmosphere, great decor, is in a perfect city centre location and of course, has beautiful food.

We will be back.


By mark, Restaurants of Leeds Share this story