Lurra: modern Basque cuisine

Tuesday night, my colleague and I decided to treat ourselves to a grown-up evening of fun by attending a Toastmasters evening to further develop our public speaking skills, and to kick it off with a special dinner. I can’t take credit for this discovery: she proposed Lurra to me and, with little knowledge besides its relatively high star rating on Google, I followed her lead. After all, when you’re dining out with someone who always has a healthy appetite and enjoys great food across the board (no dietary limitations), you’re likely to be in safe hands.

We arrived to find a darling little restaurant on a street corner with tables out front, as well as tables inside and in a back garden, which provides an extensive amount of choice to suit your mood and the temperature. I quite appreciated the muted colours, soft backlighting against the wall, and the minimalist decor and table setting: while we may have arrived a bit early, the restaurant felt nonetheless a calming oasis, which is a rare thing in central London.

Clean, modern, elegant and spacious: Lurra’s table setting

I knew from having read their story on their website as well as seeing those beautiful cuts of meat when I walked towards our table that meat was a staple of the restaurant; one of their strong points.

Beautiful cuts of meat ready to cook at Lurra

However, the menu offers much more, including some seafood options, a standard tapas selection, a specials selection (the menu is updated daily), sides, and some bread and butter selections. Admittedly, given how hungry we were, I was rather disappointed to see that a basic bread and butter selection was not served once we ordered, which is usually standard at a restaurant of this calibre.

The menu at Lurra on 9 July 2019

My colleague and I opted to share the suckling pig croquetas, the fois gras on brioche with kumquat and PX reduction, and a star of the menu: 800g of the 14 year Rubia Gallega Galician Blond dry aged on the bone. There was a moment when she questioned whether or not we could actually finish this quantity of food; I knew better!

The first to come out – and rather promptly, thankfully – were the suckling pig croquetas. They were beautifully served on a wooden board, those two golden balls of deliciousness. Crispy on the outside, soft and delicate in the middle, they were cooked to perfection and tasted so full of flavour all while feeling seemingly light. As far as croquetas go, this was among the best I’ve had.

Following the croquetas, the fois gras on brioche with kumquat and PX reduction were served next. This far exceeded my expectations: the fois gras was warm and thick, tender to the touch, and intense with taste that was balanced by the sweetness of the brioche and kumquat, and the tanginess of the reduction. The combination created a harmonious dance in your mouth. And, I’d also say it was a rather abundant portion as well.

Finally, the main event: that beautiful piece of meat! It was served with a sprinkling of sea salt and cut in large chunks for us to serve ourselves. We requested the steak to be served medium rare, and it was the perfectly medium rare when it was served: just pink enough, and so moist and soft. Armed with the beautiful steak knives we were given prior to the arrival of the dish, each bite that I cut felt like cutting warm butter. I can still taste it now; it remains one of the top steak dishes I’ve had in London, and (to my Italian friends’ disbelief), surpasses the Fiorentina steak I had the week before.

Steak the way you always hope it would taste

Sadly we ran out of time as we had to attend our Toastmasters event; otherwise I would have liked to have taken the time to digest the meal and follow up with a shared dessert… maybe even test their coffee skills. It will have to be for another time, because no doubt I will return to Lurra. We’ve both said that as delicious as the steak was (and it was amazing!), next time it might be fun to order a large selection of all the other dishes and taste a greater range of the menu. Typically I really hate to share food (with a passion); however, for Lurra, it’s easy to make an exception.

*Calories: I’m not sure with what accuracy I estimated the calories of this dinner, but with only the two specials shared and the ribeye steak (we had only water to drink; no dessert or coffee) I calculated approximately 1200 calories. Ribeye is among the higher calorie cuts of meat, and when you factor in foie gras, you’re never going to have a low calorie total.

Food taste: 4.5 / 5 (It was fantastic; I couldn’t fault any of it. I leave a margin of error to allow for the larger menu sampling next time)

Food/table presentation: 4.5 / 5 (Larger than average sized table for London, comfortable seating, lovely flatware, dishes plated simply but with artistic flair)

Service: 4 / 5  (Good service; speedy. Proper explanation of each dish that was served.)

Atmosphere/decor: 4.2 / 5 (Comfortable, clean, elegant, quiet, just as I like it. I can only hope it’s just as calming when it’s busy; I shall return to find out!)

Value for money: 3.8 / 5 (With gratuity included, dinner came to just under 100 pounds. Considering no wine, coffee or dessert was had, this does feel a bit on the excessive side. However, it was very much because of that gorgeous steak which is the specialty of the house. The prices are still on the elevated side, but the value is certainly there. )

Overall rating: 4.2/ 5

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