It was a big birthday for me this year which I must admit I wasn’t really looking forward to. We booked 6 nights stay in Güéjar Sierra – a village at the foot of the Sierra Nevada – not too far from Granada and stayed with a lovely couple, Julie and Joel at their B&B, Arroyo de La Greda which my husband Geoff found on TripAdvisor. He also found La Fábula on there too where it had good reviews and sounded like my kind of place. We booked a table 2 months in advance just to make sure we got one and arrived a couple of hours early so that we could find La Fábula. We found it straight away and a lot of people were sat in the garden enjoying a drink so we decided to do the same. It would have been rude not to.
The building is lovely, a 19th century manor house, carefully restored with fountains in the garden. Evening meal starts at 8.30 – the Spanish like to eat late. The menu was in Spanish but a waiter said he would translate for us. We decided to try the degustation menu – or ‘tasting menu’ – which was a little of everything. For €10 extra we could have wine paired with most of the courses. Perfect idea.
We had two waiters looking after us and they did everything at the same time, for example setting down a spoon. They would both lay a spoon down upside down, one for each of us, and then twirl it around so it was facing the correct way for us both. Taking off the cloche was also done at the very same moment and even pouring out the delicious olive oils from Granada and Andalusia they served with the selection of warm breads.
The first dish to arrive was a long one with lots of tiny canapé type items. Two of every kind. On the spoon which you can see was a skinned olive which was soft inside, another was a very thin crispy wafer which had caviar on, and another a crispy poppadum base with a curry tasting topping. The fried eggs, weren’t fried eggs at all but were really tiny and I can’t recall what these were. The ‘chocolate bars’ were soya or tofu or something similar. We’re not a great fan of some of these items such as olives or caviar but as they were so tiny it was easy to be adventurous and brave.
I’m afraid that some of my photos aren’t great which I could kick myself for. It was quite dimly lit in the restaurant, which was great, but not for photos. I also had the camera on the wrong settings and was also trying not to be too intrusive to other diners. Anyway, this second tapas dish was very light and was John Dory fish eggs or roe, Miso sauce was smudged across the plate which tasted like curry. The eggs were a little grainy and almost sponge-like, they was so light. It was very tasty indeed. To cleanse the palate we also had a very lovely tasting watermelon & tomato soup which was served cold and in a little glass. A crisp stick of basil was balanced across the glass. Again, both extremely tasty indeed.
This dish was venison served on potato puree. It was very tender and melted in the mouth. With this we were served a glass of Sablettes 2010, a sweet Saurterne wine, almost tasting of caramel.
This was one of the dishes with the cloche which the waiters lifted at the same time. As the plate and cloche was large we were expecting something really big underneath. It was beautifully presented. Duck foie, pistachio green paste, walnut. This was so light and creamy and the pistachio paste went really well. We had a nice glass of fruity Frizzante 2012 from Barcelona.
Geoffrey was very brave to try scallops. I told him that they’re not really very fishy at all, more like meat. These scallops were sliced thinly and lay on a bed of chlorophyll rice – like a risotto – and topped off with thin seaweed. Chlorophyll is the dark green pigment found in plants and algae and is what gives plants their colour and is supposed to be very good for us. With this we were served a glass of Autor Chardonnay 2010. It was quite dark with a sharpness to it, not smooth but still very nice.
Red mullet tied up with spring onion served on a bed of celery with a smudge of cherry tomato sauce. The fish was very tender and meaty. Again, something we would not normally order but we were both surprised that we enjoyed it.
This little palate cleanser in between the courses was amazing. A thin jelly-like apple coating with two thin sticks of apple balanced on top. When it’s in the mouth it melts quickly and apple juice bursts out. I’m guessing it was a russet apple as it had a cider taste to it.
Well, this was the pièce de résistance! Pork cheek – just like belly pork, one of my favourite dishes. This was a lovely tender piece of pork with a very thin crispy crackling. It smelt and tasted divine and it was one of those ‘Mmmm’ moments. You know, when you just look at one another and go ‘Mmmm’ and look as if you’re in heaven. Served with beetroot – which I wasn’t too keen on but that was easily pushed to one side – and a pork sauce (like a gravy or jus).
I wish I liked all types of cheese, I really do and I am trying. The Catalan cheese was a creamy soft cheese like brie. The hard cheese was Basque. I liked both of these. The next two I wasn’t so keen on although I did try them both twice. An Esturian cheese which was like a hard paste and a strong blue cheese, both of which were quite strong for me.
Luckily I had my expandable trousers on bought for this very occasion as we still hadn’t finished. A pre-dessert was a silver ball which was coconut inside. The star was grapefruit and the biscuit-type crumbs were hazelnut. All very pretty and wonderfully tasting.
A glass of Don PX Cordoba which was a very sweet dessert wine smelt and tasted of figs I thought. The dessert was a trio of chocolate mousses. White, milk and dark topped with a twisted shape of chocolate and light, fluffy torn sponge pieces at the base – almost like the Pandoro cake from Italy. My favourite was the dark chocolate although they were all lovely.
The very last dish of the evening was a plate of tiny petit fours which Geoff allowed me to eat all of! Lemon on a wafer thin gelatine paper which melted in the mouth, sherbet fizzy sticks, marshmallow, chocolate brownie, a nutty cluster and others. My favourite was the smooth truffle dusted with cocoa powder although they were all wonderful.
I don’t normally smile like the bottom left photo but as I had drunk most of the wine – Geoff was driving – I was, as you can imagine after all that wine, feeling a little tipsy.
On leaving we said our goodbyes and thank you’s to the waiters. One of the waiters then came after us and said that the chef would like to see me. I’d been rumbled. La Fábula’s chef, Ismael Delgado López was a very lovely chap and asked us how we found the meal and chatted to us about it. I explained I was a food blogger and would be writing a post on our experience. And what an experience it was! We enjoyed ourselves immensely and the food even more so. Service was excellent and the presentation of the dishes were beautiful. If you happen to visit Granada – and a very nice place it is too, especially the Alhambra – you must eat at La Fábula. You won’t be disappointed I can guarantee.
Living life, loving cake