Iberia

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Don’t be fooled by the Spanish-sounding name. Iberia is an ancient name for a region of the Caucasus, between Russia and Turkey on the Black Sea, that we now call Georgia.

Georgian food is something of a mix between Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines, combining the vibrant use of herbs and sun-ripened vegetables with subtle spicing and full-bodied, unusual wines. Georgian wines, many from grape varieties unique to Georgia, were once the toast of the Soviet Union and are now increasingly found in the UK.

The nouveau riche look of the dining room – from the polished tables to faux-leather chairs – might not do it any favours, but the attentive service reminded us of the country’s famous hospitability.

Georgia has a strong feasting tradition, headed by an eloquent tamada (master of ceremonies) that can last for hours. A meal at Iberia, fortunately, is somewhat speedier.

We were advised to order a meze for two which, although modestly portioned, we thoroughly enjoyed: from subtle steamed spinach balls  with ground walnuts and coriander to the bold turmeric-coloured bean stew called lobio, accompanied by flaky khachapuri flatbread (akin to Indian paratha), stuffed with cheese.

Khinkali – large dumplings filled with minced beef and pork – came bare on a plate, but were soft and juicy. These were great a combination with the hot, if too salty, adjika – the Georgian sauce made with red peppers, garlic, herbs and spices.

The vegetarian ‘ratatouille’ layered with fried potatoes was more of a side dish, but grandmotherly delicious.

The cake of honey and condensed milk, and deep, oaky Mukuzani red wine rounded off the meal on a high.

Aside from its over-optimistic pricing and windows facing an Iceland, Iberia’s unhurried welcome and interesting, but uncomplicated food made us want to return for another taste of the Caucasus.

Venue name: Iberia
Contact:
Address: 294-296 Caledonian Rd
London
N1 1BA
Opening hours: 5-11pm Tue-Fri; 1-11pm Sat; 1-9pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Caledonian Road tube
Price: Meal for two with wine and service: around £75

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|7
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Scott

Great restaurant, fresh food and very polite staff... Recomended...

Hannah

Very good !!!!! This is how I would describe Iberia restaurant . Very relaxed atmosphere, tasty food and not expensive. While everything is delicious the Dumplings still stands out more than anything else. Don't leave without trying it.

James

I just read a review saying the food was a mix of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food....? I don't think so. I have spent some time in Beirut, Istanbul, Ankara. and the food was amazing.....Iberia, not amazing. Not awful but just what I would expect at home not up to the standards of a restaurant.

Frank

This is definitely the best georgian food i have ever had in London. It was DELISH !!!! I had dumplings, Khachapuri my wife had badrijani and Mtsvadi. The server was wondeful !!!! We will definitely be back !!!

Amrita

Three of us went to Iberia for a Friday dinner. Lots of people recommended this place and we live not that far away so we were very excited. We ordered both starters and main courses to share. Aubergines and mushrooms were very good, which I could not say about the beef giblets and cheese filled bread which were rather dry. The beef soup with rice and Georgian herbs was good but a bit powerful, too many herbs. For the mains we had Lobio, very good indeed, and Chcqapuli, lamb with onions, tarragon, plum sauce & dry white wine. Overall we had a pleasant evening with slow but good services. We will probably come back one of these days and definitely try other Georgian places to compare. Georgian cuisine turned out to be very good cuisine.

Sandro

I really liked Iberia's food, probably they have the best Georgian food I have tried in London. Especially I liked Khachapuri and Mtsvadi. We also ordered Satsivi and Odjakhuri, but they weren't as good as the first two dishes. Service is very friendly and interior simple, what I like. Also they play very nice music. I know few nice Georgian restaurants with better location and space, but if you are missing real Georgian food and taste I would recommend Iberia.

cosmic4444

I have eaten at Iberia several times, and the food here is excellent. Georgian starters are great for sharing, and it is easy to have a meze style with 4-5 starters to share for two. There is a good list of Georgian wines too, and Georgia has a long tradition of wine growing, so I'd definitely recommend getting some wine to go with the meal. And don't forget the famous mineral water Borjomi! The service is very friendly and attentive, the food is great, so the only downside is the not so picturesque location. But it's still still perfectly suitable for a date or a group dinner, as the interior is cost and welcoming, so you quickly forget about the road outside.