RESTAURANT REVIEW: The Fable, Farringdon
The Drake & Morgan group have gone about their business just the way I like it; quickly and efficiently. Despite starting out just over 5 years ago with the opening of Southwark Street’s The Refinery in 2008, they have opened 5 more “super” restaurants all over the city, including The Folly, The Drift, and The Happenstance. Two weeks ago, they opened their 7th and quite possibly the grandest restaurant of them all so far, The Fable, and I got a first look.
Wikipedia describes a fable as “a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features animals, mythical creatures, plants, inanimate objects or forces of nature which are given human qualities such as verbal communication” and The Fable certainly lives up to this billing. The venue is huge, spanning three floors that can hold 800 diners in total. There is horticulture everywhere making you feel like you are dining in the Amazon; book pages as wallpaper; and a private booth created just by stacking a pile of fiction literature. To add to the distinctiveness, The Fable also host’s a florist’s, bottle shop, and soap store.
After our adventure around the building, we had worked up quite the appetite and thankfully the menu isn’t as big as the venue. Starters consist of only a few appetisers. The bruschetta is fantastic; I’m not a great fan of goat’s cheese, but the pesto mellowed the strength well. You wouldn’t be disappointed with the prawn lollipops either; wrapped in a chip shop style batter; they manage not to be too greasy and come with a sweet chilli dip to boot. If you want something a bit heavier and not too fussed about carb intake, the various flatbreads are a sizeable option that can feed up to three.
For mains, I went for the signature D&M burger with bacon, lettuce and tomato. This burger is made to fill you up, and even with my appetite, I struggle to finish. But be warned, if you’re a foodie, there are no complex flavours or experimental ingredients to get excited about, just a straightforward beef patty and bun. We also order the rib eye steak and although well cooked, it’s a similar deal as the burger; simple and filling, but nothing spectacular of note.
Fit to almost burst, we nearly didn’t order dessert, but seeing as it was Shrove Tuesday and there was a pancake special on offer, we couldn’t say no and finished the meal on a strawberry sauce filled high.
The Fable experience was a much calmer one than I’ve come to expect from most venues around the square mile, but still has an air of formality about it and a good mix of business people and friends. Much thought has been put into the theme and has largely paid off; recommended if you are after no frills cuisine in impressive surroundings.