Lurra is a new, rather fine, Basque grill restaurant in Marylebone. Eating there will give you living room-kitchen envy: “why aren’t all our surfaces marble?”, “why isn’t our staircase this beautiful?”, “why haven’t we got a team of Spanish cooks in the kitchen?”
Don’t say I didn’t warn you that this could, indirectly, be a very expensive meal.
On the Friday evening just gone, a pal and I enjoyed an excellent tartare of cobia – a fish that I think we call ling – which had a pleasingly firm bite and a soft finish, and was cut through and lifted by just enough sea trout roe. We enjoyed warm, friendly service, good wine and the buzz of a restaurant that appears to naturally foster a convivial atmosphere (I suggest asking for a table in the back room). And we enjoyed four large, visceral, tentacles of octopus, which were as well cooked and flavoursome as I’ve had. I loved how it was served: no fuss, just a simple, light char, tender yet firm – slicing like cool butter – with almost no dressing, and very fairly priced at £11. In other restaurants, this would easily be the star dish, the usp, the #OGR.
Yet the One Good Reason to head to Lurra is bovine, rather than cephalopod shaped.
I can’t imagine going to Lurra and not sharing a platter of their Galician beef. Since Kitty Fisher’s exploded all over the reviews, aged (as in 8-14 year old cows) and aged (as in hung for 2 and a half months) Spanish steak has been the talk of London’s restaurants. Most of that talk is in the positive to knock kneed slobbering worship category. Though of course there are the Statler and Waldorf naysayers (“I liked it; it’s fine; I prefer British grass fed; it’s a load of old bullocks“).
Form your own opinion. Short of a plane ticket, what better way to do that, than trial a chuleton (bone in rib cut) of rubia gallega (Galician blond breed) at the restaurant of the people who are importing it for everyone else?…
… that restaurant just so happens to be Lurra.
The steak’s served at a per kg price. A hearty portion for two basically works out at £45ish, and for that you’ll experience what happens when cows are left to get fat.
My first bite: a little blue cheese, a hint of irony funk, but ultimately deep, deep beefiness and incredible juices oozing forth as my teeth added pressure. It was a wonderful thing. They’d achieved a cracking crust on the grill, cooked the meat to medium rare, which is absolutely right for a beast of this age, and seasoned it well. Get the chips and alioli on the side – a perfect partner.
My only wish was that the iron skillet it was served on hadn’t been searing hot – thereby continuing to cook the meat as we ate. A charcoal rather than gas pumped grill might add just one more dimension. Still, the quality of the beef was undeniable, and very definitely a reason to head to Seymour Place.
There is no such thing as ‘The Best Steak In The World’. I reckon the smartest thing is to have an open mind, and enjoy a select amount of the good stuff. Lurra helps to tick the Basque box.
Lurra, 9 Seymour Place, W1H 5BA – 020 7724 4545
One Good Reason
Bone-in rubia gallega to share – which will work out at £20-30pp. The meal with wine more like £65pp.