Eating out is a huge joy and a bit of a struggle for me. Like nearly everyone with several food intolerances, I cook a lot, so it’s always exciting to put away the pots and pans and let someone else do the work. On the other hand, it can be hard to find a restaurant that has even one option for me, let alone several of them.
Flash forward to Iberico and Co.
I had a feeling this restaurant would be good for me. It’s tapas style, a format I love because I can craft my meal the way I want it instead of being forced into having something on my plate just because it comes alongside the dish I ordered. The name seemed to imply it was all about meat and cheese, both things that I can eat with no problem. I also suspected the food would be plenty tasty because it’s run by Enoteca Group, the folks behind Enoteca, Cicada, and Bacar, all fantastic HK tapas spots. These guys know how to do delicious, surprisingly affordable food.
The food did not disappoint! I had three dishes:
The Pan Tossed Broccoli with Goats Cheese and Toasted Pinenuts was a truly awesome combination. I may even forego my beloved Candied Broccoli next time I make it at home so I can whip this one up instead. The dish was drowning in butter – this is not a vegetable side for anyone counting their calories – but the broccoli was fresh and cooked to that delicious point just slightly past the crisp stage. Perfect. The dish included some endive which added a nice firm texture to the mix.
Next they brought out the Carpaccio of Roasted Beetroot, Sweet Potato, Spring Herbs and Endive. We’d never heard of a vegetarian carpaccio and I absolutely loved the concept. I had quite a bit of trouble figuring out if the “spring herbs” were parsley or cilantro – my brain and mouth were very confused – until just now I realized it must have been a combination of both. It was sprinkled with the same goats cheese from the broccoli dish, which added a nice soft tangy flavor. Nick declared it to be “the kind of dish that makes you feel hungrier after you eat it.” That worked out well for us, because the main attraction of the evening was about to arrive.
Crispy Cider Roasted Pork Belly with Apples. O.M.G.
This dish was insanely good. I adore pork belly, and this is one of the best preparations I’ve had. The meat was crispy and melt-in-your-mouth tender at the same time. It was served with roasted apples and whole garlic cloves. I have friends who have ordered this dish, eaten it, and then immediately ordered another one. We refrained, mainly because we’re so sure we’ll be back soon to have a second helping. It’s only available after 7 PM, so in this case the early bird does not get the worm. Even if you like to eat early, I suggest lingering until after 7 so you can order this bad boy.
There are plenty of other menu items I want to try next time, like the Shrimps Pan Tossed in Garlic Butter and Parsley and the Roasted Home-Salted Cod Fillet with Warm Salad of Garlic and Lemon Chickpeas. They also have platters of cold cuts and a few large dishes, including three varieties of paella.
Most small plates at Iberico and Co. are priced between $50-90 HK ($7-12 USD). The restaurant is located along the Central-Mid Levels Escalator at 18 Shelley Street.
What are your favorite tapas spots?