So what’s Lurra about? It’s a Basque inspired charcoal & wood fired dining spot that features its own wine cellar, oak flooring, 20 seat al-fresco dining area and an open kitchen with a marble bar. There is good amount of things that once swam the sea on the menu as well that exceptionally good Galician beef we came here for – these are ex-milkers left out to roam on the Galician Hills until they’re up to 15 years old. This glorious moo is imported by the same folk who supply Kitty Fisher’s & the renowned Clerkenwell butcher Turner and George. This can only be a good thing. They come from the same family as Donostia and The Lockhart group who are all nearby too, Lurra is a wee bit younger though having opened its doors in September 2015.
The cookery is in full display with wafts of caramelising meat on charcoal immediately perfumes your nostrils as you enter the restaurant.
There menu is geared towards a sharing plate format and they are well known for their 14 year old year old Rubia Galega or ‘Galician Blonde’, which is a breed of cattle from Galicia, North-Western Spain. The grilled turbot in txakoli sauce is a must have too.
Txakoli (Agerre) £26. In case you don’t know Txakoli is produced in the Basque region of Spain and is a light, fizzy, dry white wine with low alcohol content. They are generally weeks or months old before consumed. (It works perfectly with Basque food). Pouring from a height aerates the liquid develops that fizz.
Cordal olives stuffed with strawberries and orange £4. My mind has a curious tendency to try new combinations (new to me anyway) and this is no exception. I did find them very weird and bordering unpleasant. I’ll skip them next time.
Sour dough with bone marrow £5.5. Custardy and silken bone marrow is a very interesting snack when you spread it over that already seriously good wood charred, crusty and chewy sour dough. Good sour dough makes me dewy-eyed and often you’ll see me wipe the dribble off my chin, this one is no exception.
Jamón Ibérico 3 years cured £20.50. It comes nutty and melt in the mouth as you’d expect. If you can’t enjoy this then you can live vicariously like me when I think back about the tongue-wrapping lusciousness good jamon gives.
‘Matrimonio’ – anchovies and boquerones with mango vinaigrette £11. Another new combination for me – of course I’ve eaten anchovies and boquerones before but with mango vinaigrette? No. But it works, really well in fact with those tender and mouth-watering little fish.
Courgette flower with cod brandada £8. Inside those courgette flowers are a beautifully seasoned cod emulsion. I can taste olive oil, potato and garlic – it’s wonderful.
Hake kokotxas pil-pil, broadbeans £13. Kokotxas are essentially the throat/jowl of the fish and when cooked with oil in a circular motion it becomes a creamy emulsion. The taste is subtle yet unique but unmistakably fishy in a good way.
Grilled octopus with piquillo sauce £16. The octopus tender and smoky but not overpowered by the coal, the acidity in the sweet piquillo was a lovely addition too.
Solomillo Ibérico with pobre potatoes and egg yolk £11. The potatoes are creamy from their own starch and enriched with the egg yolk. But the star of the show is the solomillo which translates into pork loin and boy is it succulent and sweet – this is how a good piece of acorn fed swine should be.
Pata negra and heritage tomato salad with cucumber £6.50. ‘Pata Negra’ a colloquial term for black Iberian pigs because of their trademark black hooves, this ingredient has gone missing on this plate. We couldn’t seem to find it. The tomatoes however were impressive.
Whole grilled turbot with txakoli sauce £60. Respect to our waiter who advised to suck the fins so nothing goes to waste, naturally I obliged and took advantage of all that flavour they purvey. With every mouthful you the irresistible txakoli tang, some vinegar sharpness, nutty olive oil and the smoky kiss of the coals.
Even the eye balls were enjoyed.
Here is the beautiful txuleta (£71). This in-house aged rib-eye is blue when served but keeps cooking on that iron plate until it becomes a mouth-watering mid-rare. The inherent sweetness of the flesh is apparent and what you get is intense beefy flavour in every bite.
Fries with smoked paprika and aioli £6. It does what it exactly says on the tin, delicious little things.
Moscato D’Asti Runchet 2015, Piemonte (£18 for half a bottle). I’m not a fan of desert wine in general as I find it very overpowering for my palate. This is the complete opposite, semi-sweet, peachy, sparkling and the reason why I imbibe!
Walnut ice cream £3. One scoop is a gastronomical sin… especially as it was so delectable. Give us more please.
Valrhona chocolate fondant with mistika ice cream £6.5. Valrhona is a premium French chocolatier and mistika is the resin taken from the mastic tree and this concoction originates in Lebanon. What you get is a gummy-gelato like ice cream, combined with an unapologetically exuberant desert.
When did I go? May 2016
The damage: Expect to pay £80-£100 for a proper feed with booze.
The good: Lurra is a charming place with smart interior and arguably a unique dining experience in London at the moment, well it’s certainly my first time dining this way outside of the Basque country. The prime rib Rubia Galega and Txakoli Turbot are the restaurant’s mantra, rightly so as they will create perverse cravings after eaten the first time, well it did for me anyway. The enthusiastic staff were unobtrusively eager to educate and the wine list is impeccable too.
The bad: Not a lot to be honest.
Address: 9 Seymour Place, London W1H 5BA
Closest tube: Marble Arch/Oxford Circus