Review #4 – La Fabrica, Stroud Green Road

After a slightly disappointing lunch I decided to try somewhere completely new for a family dinner in the evening. I’d heard encouraging things about La Fabrica from friends so had been keen to try it out for a while. Stroud Green Road has a lot of good restaurants and so it’s easy to just go back to somewhere reliable; say Petek, Exeter Street Bakery or Season. I think La Fabrica offers a significant step up and unlike those previously mentioned is a restaurant worth travelling to Finsbury Park for even if you don’t live in the area.

The room is larger than it looks from the outside with a smattering of tables at the front next to a bar (you can dine at the bar) with a larger section at the back. The décor is sort of stripped-back industrial, fairly low-lit (good for a date I’d say) with the music (tasteful soul) noticeable but not obtrusive.

The menu offers tapas – a wide variety of tapas with a hefty amount of daily specials. I like to test a new Spanish place by trying the cold meat and cheese offerings as an intro to see what the quality is. In this case it was peerless – a generous helping of 5 or 6 different meats, each with an individual taste and texture and four varieties of sheep cheese. With some good soft bread and a glass of fino they went down a treat.

The waiter was happy to wait for us to scoff the planchas before we ordered some tapas for the main event. For these we went for a mixture of the familiar and the moderately exotic – padrone peppers, baby squid, squid ink rice, scallops and some other stuff (yup, was definitely getting the big eyes!). There’s an extensive wine list, lots of organic, and I opted for a red from Tenerife – something you don’t often see on a London menu.

It was v good. As was the food, in fact the food was better than v good. The ingredients were typically Spanish but executed beautifully, each plate a little picture that it seemed a shame to carve up between three. But we did and polished the whole lot off to the last crumb and tentacle. I was game for dessert but wiser post-Christmas counsel prevailed and we had an espresso instead (in a deep cup that kept the coffee satisfyingly warm to the last drop).

To cap it all off the service was tip-top. The waiter had obviously tasted everything on the menu and also knew about the wine in detail – a sign of an employee committed to the project. La Fabrica will be the joker for this year. A restaurant with high-end central London standards in N4 is a keeper.

9/10 (Only because I don’t believe in perfection)

To see which other restaurants I’ve visited in 2016 check out my GoogleMap

 

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