Lurra

Posted on Thursday, 10th December 2015

LURRA

The team behind the wonderful Spanish tapas restaurant Donostia recently launched a new restaurant, Lurra, a few months ago. Located a few steps down from it’s big sister, Lurra is similarly a celebration of Basque food. Lurra means “land”, and draws its inspiration from the traditional charcoal and wood grills of the region.

Lurra is a sleek looking outfit. The entrance is small and initially leads into a narrow space. On the right were some refrigerators boasting an impressive range of 14 year Rubia Gallega “Galician Blond” Prime Rib which forms part of the menu (but more on this later). Thereafter you enter the main restaurant area on the ground floor, a well-proportioned, comfortable and airy space with a glass wall that looks out onto the courtyard. There is also another well-lit dining area on the first floor, but the ground floor offers much more charm.

Lurra - London Food Blog - Prime rib

Lurra – Prime rib

In true Basque style, the Lurra menu was designed for sharing and contained many wonderfully enticing items. Particularly delicious was the squid stuffed with prawns and chorizo with a squid ink sauce (£13). The squid was beautifully cooked and very tender, and the filling was well balanced between the sweetness of the prawns and the robust flavour of the chorizo. The squid ink sauce was decadent and rich, yet not overpowering. Everything in this dish came together nicely.

Lurra - London Food Blog - Squid

Lurra – Stuffed Squid

The grilled octopus with piquillo sauce (£14) was also quite enjoyable. It was a touch over seasoned, but it was tasty and tender with a perky springiness to its flesh. The use of the grill imparted a charming caramelised flavour to it.

Lurra - London Food Blog -  Octopus

Lurra – Octopus

The sourdough bread with bone marrow (£4.50) was a decadent way to eat bread. The bread had been toasted, and although it was slightly burnt around its edges, the sourdough was well made with a good crunchy exterior. The bone marrow was fatty and luscious, but under seasoned. However with a touch of salt, it did a nice job of flavouring the bread.

Lurra - London Food Blog -  Sourdough with marrow

Lurra – Sourdough with marrow

The courgette flower with cod brandada (£7.50) was also very appetising. Lightly fried, it was delicate and crispy. The cod filling was soft and provided the requisite seasoning for the dish.

Lurra - London Food Blog -  Courgette flower

Lurra – Courgette flower

We also enjoyed the simplicity of the grilled mixed vegetables (£7). All the various vegetables were fresh, nicely cooked to hold onto a bit of bite, and well seasoned.

Lurra - London Food Blog -  Mixed grilled vegetables

Lurra – Mixed grilled vegetables

Of all the small plates that we tried, the least successful was the Cornish monkfish with moscatel and garlic sauce (£9). The restaurant did a good job of preparing the fish in the sense it was moist and not overcooked. However the sauce was bland and consequently the dish wanted for something more.

Lurra - London Food Blog -  Cornish monkfish

Lurra – Cornish monkfish

The pièce de résistance of the evening was the 14 year Rubia Gallega “Galician Blond” Prime Rib, Grade 9 (£68/kg). We ordered 900gm, thinking it would be enough for four people. And it was enough, but only because we had ordered so many other small plates (2 portions of various items). The cost of 900gm includes the bone, so be aware. The beef had a big, bold, intense flavour which was quite unique on the palate. It was beautifully grilled and very well seasoned.

Lurra - London Food Blog -  Prime rib

Lurra – Prime rib

We had ordered some fries with smoked paprika and aioli (£5) to eat alongside the beef. The restaurant forgot about our order so by the time we received the fries we had already finished the beef. The fries were excellent – crunchy and nicely flavoured with the smoked paprika. The aioli was great too. What’s more, the restaurant kindly didn’t charge us for their oversight.

We finally moved onto desserts, and these were the weakest aspect of our meal. A traditional mamia with orange blossom honey (£5) came highly recommended, but we all agreed that this was a disappointment as it was extremely bland, even with the honey, which in itself lacked flavour. A valrhona chocolate fondant with mastika ice cream (£6.50) was pleasant enough. It had a good bake to it with a runny centre, but there wasn’t quite enough valrhona chocolate running through it to really give it that needed oomph. Surprisingly, the walnut ice cream and the melon sorbet (£2 per scoop) proved to be best puddings that we tried.

Lurra - London Food Blog -  Mamia

Lurra – Mamia

Lurra - London Food Blog -  Chocolate fondant

Lurra – Chocolate fondant

There was much I liked about Lurra. It was a slick, well-tuned operation with some fabulous grilled dishes. The décor was striking and smart which made it a really pleasant venue for an intimate gathering with friends. The service was reasonably effective, but it was slightly disorganised at times as was evidenced by our forgotten fries. The biggest let down was the desserts, but otherwise Lurra did a pretty successful job of providing a highly satisfying experience. With lots of good things to try, note that Lurra is one of those restaurants where your bill can slowly add up.

SUMMARY INFORMATION
Likes:
1) The stuffed squid was excellent.
2) The prime rib was great to try, but be aware that the weight charged probably includes the bone.
3) Most of the savoury dishes were good.
4) Definitely order the fries with the smoked paprika.

Dislikes:
1) The mamia was tasteless.
2) I’ve definitely had better chocolate fondants. Basically I would skip desserts, as these didn’t match the standard of the savoury courses.
3) The forgotten fries suggested a slightly disorganised service. The flipside was Lurra didn’t charge us for them.

Food rating: 4/5 for the savoury dishes, 3/5 for the desserts, 3.5/5 overall.
Service rating: 3.5/5

Website: http://www.lurra.co.uk/

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Lurra Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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