Seb Holmes doesn’t just run Farang.
He is one.
Loosely translated, it’s the Thai word for foreigner, or Westerner. And Seb, as a Western foreigner has spent quite some time in Thailand, as well as heading up the kitchens at places like Smoking Goat and the Begging Bowl. Then, a few years ago at the tender age of just 25 (!) he opened his very own restaurant, and named it after himself.
The space itself is up on a corner in Highbury, where it’s housed in a former Italian restaurant. Outside, you can still see the stately colonnades of the old venue, now painted over in a moody grey. Head on in, and you’ll find something akin to a brick-walled taverna that looked like it was dragged from the more rural parts of Tuscany, and inserted against its will into this leafy corner of North London, then dressed up with flourishes of Thai-style artwork & plant life.
The food is uniformly excellent, and everything’s made from the most local British produce possible. Expect a well-curated, frequently changing menu featuring the likes of crispy pork belly with pickled apple & fennel, all tied together with a blood orange ‘nahm yum’ chilli dressing; wok smoked vegetable curry with pickled kohlrabi; and a whole crispy seabass with coconut chilli jam. And if you’ve never tried wild plum ripple ice cream, this is the place to start. There’s a reason they have a Bib Gourmand.
Of course there are cocktails too, including a ‘Farang Tini’ (Passion fruit liqueur, vodka, mango juice), plus some Thai beer, and some very much not-Thai wine…
…in fact, the entire list is made by a bunch of farang.
NOTE: Farang is open now. Dogs are welcome during lunch and early in the evening before it gets too busy. Speaking of which, reservations can be made by calling 020 7226 1609, or on their website HERE.
ALSO NOTE: Seb’s kindly shared his recipe for green nham jim cured salmon – check it out here.
Farang | 72 Highbury Park, N5 2XE
Since you’re in the area… check out our guide to Islington’s best restaurants