No, wait... That came out wrong - You should definitely visit this place, for all the resons that I'm about to enumerate, but just to let you know in advance, for those male readers who use expensive restaurants to 'grease the wheels' for a possible physical liaison with their chosen paramour, Iberico scores a 93 on the 'Aidan Turner gusset dampening scale' but you're going to need to budget at the thick end of £100 to make the whole experience a sure-thing, especially if you include a decent bottle of wine.
Anywho, back to the 'PG' rated portion of the review.
On Friday (11/09/15), the incumbent Mrs Dandy had made it known, loudly and vociferously, that she had a hankering for some meat - A hankering that could only be extinguished by the application of copious quantities of barely cooked beef... Not a problem in itself, but Derby, the town where we live is known more for its engineering history than it is for its plethora of steak eateries. A quick Google search threw up a couple of possibilities (yes, I realised after writing that that I could have put it better) and within moments, Heckmondswyke, our faithful manservant had brushed the whoop of mating marmosets (or is it a flange of mating marmosets?) from the plush velour interior of the Dandymobile and we were winging our way from our sleepy suburb into the throbbing metropolis of the city centre itself.
We were dropped in the Marketplace and I requested that Heckmondswyke travel the ring-road in the style of a common mini-cab driver until he was recalled.
Imagine our surprise, when purely due to my lack of research, we were unable to find the steak restaurant that I had researched not hours before. In its place (or so it seemed) was a shining beacon, a temple to gastronomy, a positive... erm... good place... to do some ahh.. eating in. However, the Thai restaurant seemed to be a bit drab, so we popped next door to a tapas bar that we hadn't previously noticed.
Not that it really matters, but for completeness, you should probably know that I wasn't wearing my usual dinner-jacket / board shorts combo, neither was I wearing my kilt (traditionally) - Time constraints meant that I was still dressed for my day job - New Rocks, tight jeans, two leather jackets and a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' T-Shirt
To continue, I had never, knowingly been to a tapas bar before, certainly not whilst sober and I was pleasantly surprised with both the decor and the ambiance - there was a lot of smooth wood and artisan tiling, which is like normal tiling, but you have to take a run-up - The venue's website describes their choice of fabrics as sumptuous, which I'd probably agree with.
We were shown to our seats by a very agreeable gentleman who provided menus and offered to take my coats and so forth, which I politely declined for 'reasons'. After a very short delay, a young lady appeared to take our wine order and I let the Mehmsahib choose from the copious menu (Seeing as I have little or no use left in the tastebuds that register wine after that sordid incident in Mozambique) After assisting Mrs Dandy in the pronunciation of her wine choice, she educated us as to how the whole 'Tapas thing' works.
How the whole 'Tapas thing' works.
- Tapas is for sharing, it is more of an experience than it is technically a meal.
- Well, I mean, it is a meal, obviously.. But.. you know, just go with it
- There is a bread / nibbles menu (that you or I might call appetisers / starters, because we are all old)
- Then the main menu is comprised of small dishes that just 'appear' throughout your meal for however many people there are at your table to share.
- You should get 2 or 3 dishes per person
- You keep eating until you run out of plates and / or money
- Then you pay, whilst stifling a silent prayer to your bank balance
On the whole, our experience was hugely enjoyable, the food was excellent, the staff were polite, helpful, interesting, tattooed and one even had wonderfully dyed electric blue hair (I'm presuming it was dyed... The one joy of being the IT Manager for an International Hairdresser is that you can often recognise dyed hair when you see it) - There follows a small rundown of the dishes that we actually had:
- Mixed Olives (Manzanilla, Gordal & Nocellara)
- Catalan Bread (topped with tomato, garlic & herbs)
- Crispy pork belly with fermented radish & nectarine mustard
- Triple cooked Patatas Bravas
- Barbecued Cauliflower
- There was a lamb thing too... (which I can't find on the online menu, I think it had quails eggs on it)
- And also some kind of omelet (Which may or may not have been served with a foam or a reduction or something, I forget)
But every single dish was perfectly cooked, presented and served. On the whole the venue was stunning - If I knew anyone that I wanted to impress, I would certainly bring them here.
It seems like the sort of place where you could happily take a different young lady every week and the only reaction that you would get from the staff would be a knowing wink... Presuming of course that you tipped them royally. Otherwise, they'd be all up in your grill like a maddened badger, maybe, that's just a guess though in fairness.
Great place, great food, great people.- I understand that they also have a location in Nottingham, although why anyone would want to go there is beyond me.