Upper Street in Islington is one of those streets I rarely visit, even though the area is not too far from where I live (it just seems to be out-of-the-way for my friends). One evening, however, we ventured towards the area to find a treasure trove of restaurants that I’d read and seen online.
La Farola was a place I haven’t heard much about and we managed to get a table for two on a Friday evening.
As with most tapas restaurants, there’s plenty to choose from all segmented by the type of tapas such as snacks, fish, vegetarian etc.
Of course you can’t arrive at a tapas restaurant without any of the meat platters on offer and the dish I opted for was morcon iberican de bollata; cured ham from Iberian pigs.
The ham was succulent and rich, with a subtle nuttiness and had the right balance of salt. For lovers of cured meat platters, this was a winner.
We also decided to order a cheese dish and stuck to San Simon Da Costa; cured and smoked cows cheese served with walnuts, grapes and a tomato jam.
The dish was a little disappointing with a lack of cheese as the bread served was a little too crisp and took up much of the platter.
For a vegetarian option we chose the courgette flowers which were beautifully presented and had a sweetness to match.
Croquetas de bacalo or deep-fried cod croquettes were next to arrive and were a pleasant surprise.
The batter was golden, crispy but the interior of the fish was beautifully moist and could easily be mistaken for a beautifully-flavoured white meat.
You can always tell if a Spanish tapas restaurant is any good-by its paella.
We ordered the seafood paella and was beautifully seasoned with saffron, creamy rice with plenty for two to share.
It wasn’t all good news as the bomba was the worst dish of the evening. Although interesting on the eye, the meatball was bland, chewy and not at all how beef should be represented. The bravas sauce did the beef no favours; tasteless with no spicy kick.
La Farola was a small, intimate restaurant with plenty of tapas to choose from. The majority of the dishes were delightful but I’m still on the hunt for the perfect London tapas restaurant.
– La Farola, Islington