Review: Tapas at La Fábrica, Finsbury Park
Written by: Florence Robson
Tapas has somewhat lost its meaning in London dining of late, popping up in a vast range of cuisines to indicate everything from starters to street food. If this liberal use of language has got you longing for the proper stuff, you won’t get much better than La Fábrica in Stroud Green.
The restaurant’s website states that La Fábrica was created with the philosophy to use ‘authentic Spanish ingredients and fresh local produce’, bringing together the flavours of traditional Spain and the cultural buzz of Finsbury Park. With its utilitarian decor (‘la fábrica’ means ‘the factory’ in Spanish), La Fábrica also has an element of the design-forward approach common to the trendiest districts of European cities, earthed by distinctive Spanish touches such as mismatched patterned crockery and a hanging leg of ham. The result is an authentic culinary treat.
Tapas is designed to be shared and the dishes vary in size, so the menu could be a little overwhelming to the uninitiated. However, the Spanish waiters are friendly and knowledgeable, and happily recommend dishes according to diners’ tastes.
The menu combines familiar staples such as patatas bravas, prawns sizzling in garlic (the most delicious we’ve ever tasted) and crispy ham croquettes with more unusual Spanish dishes like fried aubergines drizzled with sugar cane honey, a Malagan speciality. There’s also a regularly updated Specials menu with meatier delicacies such as boar’s cheeks and pork loin.
If you manage to leave room for dessert, try the tarta de santiago (a homemade almond tart served with hazelnut cream and a shot of cold green tea and lime) or opt for the churros con chocolate for a decadent experience fit for even the most hardcore of chocaholics.
As for drinks, there’s a wide array of wines to complement even the most selective tastebuds, but if you’re looking to treat yourself, the gin menu is the star of the show. Served in fishbowl glasses to allow the drinker to taste the subtle aromas, each gin on the menu is finished with a different garnish, from a sprig of rosemary to a scattering of strawberries.
While there are plenty of tables available where you can sit and eat at your leisure, for a truly Spanish experience we recommend sitting at the polished wooden bar, nursing a glass of red and snacking on a ración of jamón and manchego while watching the world go by.
45 Stroud Green Road
Phots via La Fabrica instagram.
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