Review of Lurra
A craving for old Spanish cow brings me to Lurra, a Basque inspired restaurant serving one of my favourite steaks.
The Basque country, in Northern Spain, is one of my favourite destinations in Europe because of its stunning natural beauty and incredible food culture. Lurra is a Basque inspired restaurant situated a few minutes’ walk from Marble Arch in central London.
The restaurant is both stylish and simple and being Basque, the menu has a heavy seafood focus throughout the tapas menu while offering just three mains: Lamb, Beef or Fish.
Between five of us were ordered a number of Tapas including Octopus, Bone Marrow, Shrimp and Jamon Croquetas. We ordered 1.6kg of the Rubia Gallega Bone-in Rib eye steak (or two portions of the 800gm steak). This is the same breed of cow (but a different cut) that I enjoyed at Beast and both the same breed and cut that I had at Sagardi.
Beef from the Rubia Gallega has established itself as my favourite steak. I’ve eaten so much of it now that surely I’m in line for honorary Spanish citizenship.
The Rubia Gallega is a breed native to Northern Spain. They are special because they are well raised and live very long lives (often between 14-18 years). The maturity of the animal really comes through in as rich and succulent beefiness. If you want to know more about old cows you can click here for our feature on them.
The Tapas were served as they were cooked as is custom in Basque country. The Octopus looked and tasted fantastic. It was meaty with a perfect texture and was cooked to perfection. The only downside of the octopus was the size of it – in Basque country itself you’d be looking at a portion double the size for a lower price.
The Bone marrow, best described as beef jelly butter (texture of jelly but rich and smooth like butter) served with bread was generously portioned. Padron peppers were heavily seasoned, tasty and juicy while the Jamon croquetas were small but delicious.
The steak arrived on cast iron trays with the frenched (shortened) rib bone on the side. The portion looked generous. I eagerly bit into the steak.
The heavily salted charcoal-grilled crust gave way to a surprisingly tender interior. Each chew would deliver an explosion of taste that blended the richness of the fat with the beefiness that a mature cow gives a steak. It was fantastic.
My only criticism of the steak is the presentation of it. The steak was crammed into a cast iron tray. Naturally, its only aesthetics , but contrast it with Sagardi where the steak is served with the full rib bone. It beckons some primeval urge or inner cave man satisfaction. But then again, Lurra probably doesn’t want me to dick around with its bones.
The service, while pleasant, was notable by its absence. We struggled to get served when we needed it with drink orders being missed and having to follow-up on orders four or five times. We also had difficulty making the food order with some of the Tapas being double portioned.
Lurra offers a fantastic, perfectly cooked steak. However, the tapas and starters are overpriced while the beef, given the quality and portion size offered much better value.
The best comparison to Lurra is Sagardi in Shoreditch. But there’s little difference to be honest. While Lurra feels more upmarket, Sagardi is more relaxed with arguably better service. The steak is equivalent.