Known for the success of what many consider to be a brunch institution in Adelaide, Exchange Specialty Coffee, Tom Roden sets his sights on a new project alongside co-owners James Roden (Tom’s brother) and Andrew Douglas. Iberia sits in one of the most bustling restaurant precincts in Adelaide, Rundle Street East. Surrounded by the likes of NOLA, Brklyn, Mr Goodbar, Africola and Restaurant Orana, Iberia is a welcome addition to the East End’s quality-focused dining and drinking revival.
As the name suggests, the venue is inspired by the Iberian Peninsula (Spain & Portugal) and their cultural influence on the food and drinks served by the venue. That cultural influence even comes through with the interior design done by Williams Burton Leopardi. The predominant pinkish hue is based upon the colour palette of earthy tones of regions in Southern Spain, with materiality that also reminiscences on what you’d find on the Iberian Peninsula. Head underground, to the bar which is enclosed on both sides by the exposed original stone walls and you get a Spanish “cave” kind of feel. The design is not so much cliché as it is reflective in the design elements that evoke the idea of Iberia.
Andrew Douglas, heads the kitchen with a wealth of experience from eastern state venues. Notably his experience at MoVida and MoVida Next Door helped develop a love and skill set around Spanish cuisine. Pairing that with the ambition to farm their own produce up in Balhannah, Adelaide Hills, they go to that next level of locality in produce. So far as standouts go, if you loved all things preserved, there’s plenty of choice here. The Barossa pork with prunes and aged apera is something to salivate over again and again. Though if you’re ever in doubt, there’s the tasting menu that’ll have you covered.
Finally, onto the drinks side of things, it’s an anomaly to Adelaide’s dining scene in that half their wine list comes from the Iberian Peninsula. Also the majority of the domestic stock is made from Spanish/Portuguese grape varieties. An interesting variety that’s boasted by the introduction of sherry, vermouth and whiskies finished in sherry/port casks. The kitchen even has a hand in the cocktails with many elements made by the chefs.
279 Rundle St, Adelaide