Harden's survey result
From its first branch, on Great Portland Street, which opened in 2007, these “buzzy”, “authentic” and relatively stylish Spanish tapas-haunts have grown into a national chain, boosted by their “consistent standards, fair quality and sensible prices” (although “service is a bit uneven”).
“A decent Spanish option (but it won’t blow your mind)” – these “welcoming and buzzy tapas bars” remain “the kind of places one can linger with friends in true Hispanic style” (but perhaps lack the pizzazz of the brand’s early days), providing “cheerful” (but “uneven”) service, and “reasonably priced” (but slightly “formulaic”) cuisine.
“I don’t know if they’re really all that special, but they’re terrifically enjoyable” – so say fans of these “vibrant”, contemporary Spanish operations, whose City and Canary Wharf branches are “good for business”.
Fans of these “bustling” modern venues say “they offer a genuine taste of Spain, unrecognisable as part of a chain”. And that was probably true once, but with expansion they seem more “hyped” and “impersonal” now, although they can still make “a decent fallback”.
Ibérica Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Good food and good atmosphere. A nice place to go with friends"
"Decent Spanish food - tho seems to have trod water as the standard of Spanish food across London has improved steeply. Friendly enough service."
"Some of the reviews seem to me rather harsh. My brother and I had a very enjoyable tapas lunch. Could not fault the food and the service was both efficient and friendly. The restaurant was busy on a Tuesday lunchtime, so they must be doing something right."
"Good authentic tapas and spanish wine (and sherry) though a rather cramped dining room."
A large tapas restaurant, near Great Portland Street tube, where the chef has an impressive cv - he may perhaps have been absent on the day we visited.
Something approaching a 'rave' review elsewhere drew us to this large but otherwise unremarked-on tapas bar-cum-restaurant. It opened six months ago, and sounded as if it might be a handy place to know about in the thin but expectant area around the Portland Hospital.
It's a lofty but unremarkable-looking place, presumably having inherited part of its design from the last of the number of 'concepts' which have previously occupied the site, so we were looking forward to the exciting cuisine which would jazz the whole experience up.
In vain. Our lunch, not particularly inexpensive, was totally devoid of anything resembling a gastronomic highlight. Even a simple crowd-pleaser like croquetas were just a mush, and whitebait verged on offputting.
The highlight of our meal, our notes reveal, was the terminal espresso. But then it may just have been relief. Let us hope that we were just 'unlucky'.
|Number of Diners:|
Last orders: 11 pm