Having just reviewed The Pearson Room in Canary Wharf a couple of weeks earlier and had a thoroughly enjoyable visit, I was looking forward to another new offer from this financial metropolis, this time with an alfresco twist.
Ibérica La Terraza is the latest offering from Ibérica, who already have a restaurant in Canary Wharf as well as in Marylebone, and they have created a little Spanish haven right in the middle of this shiny high rise island.
In a corner of Cabot Square, a short distance from the main Ibérica restaurant, there are charming lights hanging between leafy trees, elegant white buildings and tasteful summery tables and chairs.
The food is a more focused menu of what they offer at their two other restaurants, but there is still plenty of choice (including a brunch menu). Seafood tapas and famous Ibérico hams dominate.
All three restaurants are overseen by Head Chef César García, who was there the night we visited, and this man’s enthusiasm, friendliness and passion for his food is infectious.
The Juan Pedro Dromeq Iberica ham is sweet and salty, cured for at least 45 months in Jubago, and melts in the mouth. We accompany this with a selection of pinchos, which at Ibérica La Terraza they have re-imagined with a special kind of sweet, crisp biscuit base contrasting with the savoury toppings.
Determined to not just gravitate towards all the ham and meat options, I decide to take advantage of the seafood on offer. This included a first for me, a sourdough baguette, a bocadillos, packed with squid.
This is a filling choice for when you want to try a few different options, even shared between two, but probably great for lunch. The cool smoked cod with red pepper salad is lightly flavoured and generously portioned.
Nervous about the weather, despite this being a Friday night in June, Ibérica La Terraza is busy, buzzy and certainly mild enough. And if you do start to feel the chill, one of the charming staff members will bring you a soft fleecy blanket.
This delightful corner of Cabot Square offers something special to Canary Wharf that’s perfect for a sunny post work dinner and drinks, reasonably priced, and where you can begin to forget where you are.
Tip: There’s a great cocktail list, but do also try the sangria with cava – beautifully pink, fruity and refreshing and lighter than with a red wine base – it’s delicious!
If you enjoy outdoor dining, read our guide to alfresco restaurants in London here.