La Fábula was in the Hotel Villa Oniria and has had the same chef for 10 years. The 10 large tables were widely spaced and draped with white clothes and set with napkins embroidered with the restaurant name. There were lots of banquet seats opposite the well stuffed armless chairs. Carpet and sound panels in the ceiling assured that conversations would be private and noise level would remain low, even with music in the background. Cute decorations were on each table instead of the standard flower or candle. Lighting was lowered but it was not dark. Staff were super friendly, spoke great English and could easily talk about each dish. The menu offered a la carte options as well as a tasting menu that had an optional addition of 4 more courses. Wine pairings were available for both sizes of tasting. We chose the smaller tasting and ordered our own wines. The meal had good pacing and portion control.
We started with a glass of their Cava which went well with the first snacks until the wine came. Starting at 2:00 was the chickpea with apricot tomato, then clockwise was the tempura broccoli with egg yolk, crunchy with creamy top, onion bilini and in the center was pickled eggplant with cream. The chickpea was crisp on the outside and creamy inside. The tempura was coated with an eggwhite batter with the vegetable cooked nicely. The crunchy/creamy was good. The onion had lots of flavor and the eggplant was okay. All good snacks with a nice amount of contrasting temperatures and textures.
Another snack was mackerel with cream. It was a strong tasting bit of fish with a creamy sauce and a dot of something sweet. It was good for what it was, but not my favorite.
Callos codfish was fish with tripe and chickpea beans. The sauce on the raw fish was warm and the chickpea provided a little grit to the otherwise smooth dish. It was nice.
Bread service was on top of a cart filled with various olive oils. They poured 2 local types which were very different from each other. The previously sliced bread had been toasted and that made it quite dry and hard. They had corn, tomato, dark, focaccia and white types. Upon request they brought additional un-toasted bread.
A croquette was filled with veal and cheese and topped with a pequin pepper. It had nice flavor and a soft inside and crisp exterior. The pepper was a fun bite of spice.
A veal terrine was accented with pistachio and mazamorra (corn and coconut cream). The plate also had bits of apricots and rosemary oil on it. It had very good flavor and was rich and dense. Good.
A warm salad was made with purple potato, cured beef and caviar. The meat shreds on top were from a ham of veal and were very savory. The potatoes were nicely cooked and tasty but the caviar did not have much flavor. Overall it left a good taste in your mouth when you finished but was mild.
Smoked fresh cheese ravioli was plated with honey, garlic and a touch of dill. It was quite nice and the pasta was cooked perfectly.
The menu called for rock fish for the next course but they were using red mullet that night to go with artichokes and almond cream. The fish was cooked perfectly and the almond flavor went great with it. The artichokes were cooked perfectly also and had good flavor. They were also a nice match for the flaky fish.
Poultry was plated wtih Venere and ras the hanout (a spice mix of cinnamon, tumeric, cayenne, sugar and others). The chicken was resting on Burma black rice and decorated with olive slices. A little sweet apple sauce finished out this good plate.
The cheese selection was (starting at 12:00) a local goat cheese, an older goat cheese, the cheese used in the croquette from a cow with a red head and aged less than parmesan, Navarra smokey sheep cheese, and creamy sheep cheese from the Merino milk. In the middle was a blue cheese from Navarra. All were very different but tasty. They were served with a nut bread that was also toasted to dry. However, a nice selection of cheese.
A pre-dessert was tangerine and orange with a vermouth foam. It had lots of flavor and a chunk of tangerine in the bottom. You could taste the vermouth in the foam. A good combination of flavors.
Dessert was lemon pie with coconut ice cream and basil. There was a buttery cookie topped with lemon curd and meringue kisses. An extra sweet meringue arch was on top of the ice cream. It was good but not totally exciting. The cookie might have been the best part. Eating it did evoke a lemon meringue pie flavor and texture but the lemon was a tad too tart. Even so I’d call it a good one.
Last treats were fried milk ring, coffee, vanilla in a butter cookie, anise and cinnamon sugar. The coffee ball was filled with creamy coffee. The ultra thin butter sheet was topped with lovely custard, but it was really fragile. The ring was buttery good and the anise was mild in flavor. A fine end to a fine meal.