Since the late 80s, Holloway’s El Molino has been ahead of the curve when it comes to the current craze for Spanish tapas that has only recently achieved real prominence in London. Located up Holloway Road, El Molino does everything Spanish, from tapas to mains, always using only the finest and freshest ingredients, and always at prices that suit everybody’s budgets. As veterans, El Molino can afford to quietly offer up some of the best Spanish in London.
El Molino has long been a default destination for Holloway locals looking for an after-work drink with a Spanish twist, or with students seeking out good eats at prices that won’t break the bank. El Molino has been on Holloway Road since the 80s, and is one of those restaurants that is simply integral to the local landscape. The fare is unpretentious (a blessing in the current tsunami of trendy tapas bars in London) and authentically Spanish. Rustic meat and fish dishes sit comfortably alongside steaming paella, proper tapas crafted by the head chef, and a standalone vegetarian menu that does Iberian wonders to the freshest produce available.
Besides the wide-ranging regular menus, El Molino’s chef’s specials are of particular note. There’s simple, Spanish-tinged T-bone steaks, grilled seabass, and lamb shanks, plus an extra-special dish called lenguada mar y terra. This last takes fresh Dover sole and submits it to a distinctive Spanish treatment involving mushrooms, garlic, and wine. Proper Spanish cuisine, and tapas, is deceptively simple, and it’s this rustic approach, plus welcoming premises along Holloway Road, that has made El Molino’s name in London’s Spanish dining scene. Something of a Holloway institution by now, El Molino is also a popular spot for private hire, be it for birthdays, weddings, functions, or even a Christmas feast (perfect for injecting a little bit of Spanish sunshine into our annual midwinter proceedings).
Always passes by, but never tried. Finally we made it and it has been a real surprise. The food is very nice and the owner he is a real sweet heart. Definitely a place to go to feel a bit of Spanish vibes:)
The staff were very kind and helpful. We had my birthday dinner at the restaurant and they switched off the lights and played "Happy birthday" music while bringing out a cake with candles. They made everyone feel comfortable and most importantly, the food was authentic and delicious.
Great neighbourhood restaurant- service is always friendly and efficient, even when there was a large party (30 people) there at the same time. Tapas are delicious as is the sangria!
The service was quick and efficisn't even on a busy Sunday afternoon. Quality of the food was outstanding. We hadn't been to El Molino's for sometime but it was all of high quality. Maria - Royston
We visited the restaurant for the first time at 5.30pm on a Sunday evening. It was nicely decorated with a rustic feel. The staff were very friendly. However, there were children running up and down the restaurant making a lot of noise (although this is more the responsibility of the customers I wish the staff would have reminded the parents there were other families there). Food was sered I went for the lamb shank - it was beautifully cooked and came with a huge side dish of vegetables. My partner went for a small selection of tapas which he thoroughly enjoyed. Now I have a very sweet tooth. ...although I could not get through the whole plate of lamb I wanted dessert. This is where the place fell down. We were ignored (the place did have more diners) but we waited over 30 minutes. I tried to catch attention of the staff but they just didn't noticed. To my disappoint my partner pointed out that we no longer had time for dessert. So went to the bar and paid. Although the staff were polite and friendly. I do wish they had been more attentive. Maybe we were supposed to have gone to the bar sooner but having been initially served at the table this seems unlikely. Oh well they missed out on more money for dessert
Atmosphere was nice but unfortunately food was average. The octopus was extremely salty, don't know why they put tons or rock salt on it, none of us could eat it. The chorizo was very good and also the patatas bravas. A bit disappointed with the desserts too, the cheesecake was ok but the Vesuvius ice cream pot had some sort of frozen biscuits inside, as if that wasn't properly thawed before putting it into the ice cream. The ice cream itself was very good though. Service was also not so great, they brought the same dish twice. No one was looking after us properly and after we finished our mains we had empty plates on our table for ages until we asked them to bring us the desserts menu.
Great tapas and decent house wines by the glass .Brilliant value for money before Arsenal matches. Friendly attentive service. Thoroughly recommend El Molino to anyone
Excellent service. Decent price on a decent house Cava. We ordered tapas including patata bravas, green peppers, octopus, grilled prawns, sardines and ham croquettes. The prawns and sardines weren't exactly what we were expecting, but everything else was delicious
Excellent food, perfect wine and a friendly staff. Nice and quiet atmosphere with a reasoñable price. I was there many times and always I received a warm welcome and I experienced the same quality. Very good.
My wife, mother-in-law and I had a wonderful meal the service was very good and we definitely would go again. We are thinking about inviting some of our friends to enjoy the experience with us later in the year.