Had our meal at Bar Iberico finished after the first dish I’d be here telling you how amazing it was. Had it finished after the second dish I’d be still be waxing lyrical, albeit in a slightly more restrained fashion. But we didn’t stop there. Of course we never. We ordered more and the food got progressively worse until I felt bad for ever walking through the door and asking for a table. But they are clearly very popular in Nottingham and TripAdvisor loves them, so hopefully they’ll ignore this whiney little bastard and crack on with whatever they were doing before.
Should you find yourself here by choice I strongly suggest you order the crispy chicken with jerez sauce and then bolt for the door. Only kidding. Make sure you pay the bill first, I can’t condone theft. The chicken is the ultimate bar snack; crisp and fiery and robustly seasoned, it begs for a second and third bowl to be ordered alongside a winelist that offers value and choice by the glass. If you do need a second plate of food you’ll do alright by ordering the the chorizo and padron pepper skewers which take very average quality staples of Spanish cuisine and put them in the same space. There is nothing wrong with this idea in my world.
And from there it just goes downhill. A flatbread with shredded duck and balsamic is too sweet and the duck has been cooked far too long. The patatas bravas has cubes of spud that are suspiciously like those obtained from a bag with a nondescript tomato sauce. Worse with these is the pot of something buttery with the whack of garlic that if I close my eyes could be that awful thing they send with Papa John pizzas to put you off ordering from the Papa ever again. If that was unpleasant (which it was), the low point was yet to come. A ragu of lamb with something called a Samphaina sauce which I can only assume is made by blending up a can of Campbell’s cream of vegetable soup. The ragu is underseasoned, the sauce an acrid pool of grey sludge. It’s one of the worst things I ate in 2019 and that included a trip to Gino D’Acampo’s.
Service is a little cumbersome, which is understandable given that we eat over the Christmas period, and the bill works out a little over £47 for the two of us. Afterwards we walk the one minute to the always excellent Cottonmouth. Here we drink honed and polished drinks from a concise menu. It’s pretty much the blueprint for the perfect bar. There is a lot here for Bar Iberico to learn from about not over-stretching themselves.