What's the draw
We can think of two things that are beneficial when creating a cook-at-home proposition: a pre-existing supply chain based on importing and selling great, authentic produce, and a menu that's built around dishes that are robust enough to travel well and simple at their heart. Iberica has both of these strings to its bow already – the group's locations tend to be split between retail and dining, and mainly featuring the kind of vibrant tapas that are beautiful in their simplicity. It figures, then, that a meal kit from the brand would tick these boxes too.
How it works
It's pretty simple: choose the closest location and a time slot, and you'll be greeted with a raft of options, from store-cupboard staples, wines and hot tapas to the full cook-at-home range. The Feast at Home menu, which was the one we tried, has to be booked 72 hours in advance of arrival, so bear in mind if you're tight for time. Prep is confined to plating of ambient dishes and simple reheating in sealed bags (and a bit of oven roasting) for hot ones, and instructions come with handy video guides if you're looking for some inspiration.
The engineering behind the meal kit is subtle but effective: with minimal preparation, you'll feel like you've had a varied and cohesive journey through some classic tapas. Jamón ibérico, obviously, is as simple as moving from vacuum pack to plate, while dishes like pan con tomate (which you could feasibly make at home, but which has just the right bread and just the right consistency of de-seeded tomato flesh) hit the right notes – ditto for fresh, bright pink gambas de huelva with a gorgeous accompanying lemon mayo. The main works nicely: a hulking leg of lamb goes into boiling water before being finished with a quick roast alongside potatoes, and accompanied by stewed peppers, the result is a rich meat dish that's more than flavourful enough to be served so simply. Standouts, though, are clear: octopus with mashed potato and ajada sauce – a rich, bright orange sauce of garlic and paprika – is far more than the sum of its parts would suggest, and wonderfully easy to prepare; while a Gloria cheesecake is deconstructed: a beautifully rich soft cheese mix with sweetness and umami, topped with zesty dried strawberry and crunchy biscuit.
£130 for 2; ibericarestaurants.com