After enjoying one of the best meals ever at the first Nacho and Friends event a few months back, we were excited when second one was announced for Iberica in Manchester. Nacho Manzano is the executive chef over the Iberica group and has his own 2-star restaurant Casa Marcial. This time he was cooking with British chef Mark Poynton, owner and chef of Alimentum for an autumnal game themed menu.
Terrible images (phone, low light, an eagerness to eat) but once again, amazing dishes.
I’ve indicated with initials which dish came from which chef. Venison tartar, charcoal mayonnaise and turnips (MP)Lightly binding the meat, the mayo was barely perceivable but the freshness of the meat shone through.
An earthy broth with mushrooms and chestnuts. Meaty without meat.
Bean stew with hare (NM)
Pigeon liver parfait, smacked bacon (no, I’ve no idea what that means either!) and pineapple jam, hazelnut praline and horseradish vinegar gel (MP)
We could literally hear the people sat near us gasp when they tried this, as did we. I can’t begin to tell you have rich and tasty it was and while the pineapple wasn’t in your face, it did definitely cut through the richness of the parfait.
Deer loin, Jerusalem artichokes and roast garlic and honey alioli (NM)
The meat was cooked and seasoned perfectly.
Poached and roasted wood pigeon breast, potato, mushroom, red wine and parsley. (MP)
Along with the parfait, this was a highlight dish for me. The meat was full of flavour and moist and the wine and parsley sauces on the plate were quite full on but complemented each other.
Brillat savarin mousse, cheesecake crumble, strawberry and black olive (MP)
The cheese mousse was light as a cloud but I wasn’t overly taken with the addition of olives.
Rice pudding with brandy and truffle (NM)
I foolishly thought chocolate truffle but this rich rice pud had actual truffle on it! On reflection, both puds were too savoury for me.
The price included matched wines as well and I can only assume that they were good as I didn’t have them but Andrew emptied each glass, including a sherry!
I hope Iberica continue with these events as they are brilliant value for the quality of cooking, and I think they bring something different to Manchester’s dining scene. Plus I would have never come across Mark’s cooking, and we are now thinking of a trip to Cambridge next year to try his tasting menu in full.