The best ingredients don’t need much but Lurra makes them even better
Sometimes the best ingredients don’t need much to make them shine, this is the case in this mediterranean restaurant hidden behind the hustle and bustle of Marble arch. You get some extremely tasty food from the best ingredients. But is it worth heading all the way down that end of Oxford Street I hear you ask… well read on to find out.
My foodie friend and I were both intrigued to try this place, I arrived first and was shown to our two seats at the end of a marble bar which overlooked the kitchen. I was shown the menu and explained that Lurra specialised in Basque cooking – cooking over charcoal, wood grills mainly. But don’t worry the open kitchen is well ventilated so you get the hint of the smell but don’t end up smelling like a barbecue when you leave.
We were advised to share plates so that we could sample more of the menu, of course you didn’t have to tell us twice. Sharing means you can try more dished right? The menu is small and simply just highlights fresh, great produce. We started with crusty sourdough served with grilled bone marrow. Simply cooked, nicely seasoned and perfect on the bread, I don’t know why more places don’t serve bone marrow more often. Yum!
We then went for a courgette flower with cod brandada each – because let’s face it you can’t really share a deep-fried courgette flower right? It was packed full with a soft salty cod flavoured emulsion which went well with the crispy exterior.
Mushrooms, truffle and a salted egg yolk came next, unfortunately the egg yolk was broken when it got to the table but it didn’t detract from the dish, just the presentation. Surprisingly the egg yolk and truffle made the dish rich and we used every piece of mushroom to soak up every bit of the yolk we could.
Followed by grilled octopus with piquillo sauce, I always think that octopus is a hard thing to cook properly and a good yard stick to the caliber of a restaurant. I was a little surprised how the octopus was presented, but I guess it went on the grill easier in one big piece and it melted in your mouth with the great smokey flavour from the piquillo sauce and the grill.
Of course it wouldn’t be a proper review without any meat sampled, iberico pork with potatoes and a egg yolk sauce. The meat was simply cooked again and was super soft, cooked pink as per the recommendation of the chef which was made rich by the potatoes and the sauce. We happily sat at the bar sipping our wine enjoying the busy open kitchen and the view of a whole iberico pork leg being sliced in front of us. The restaurant is a little noisy because of the open kitchen and due to the place being busy by the time we finished our meal, also sitting on bar stools isn’t really the most comfortable thing for a whole meal, but it didn’t put us off having a nice time.
We decided to order some homemade ice cream, even thought it was relatively cold outside. A beautiful little scoop of creamy ice cream arrived for each of us. Their flavours change almost daily, so you don’t know what would be available when you go.
I enjoyed Lurra’s philosophy and the Basque cooking of all the ingredients however I don’t know whether I would jump and go back straight away. All of this came with a price, and I couldn’t help thinking that I could get a more substantial meal with a more extensive menu with just as good produce somewhere else. Saying that, there is something simply beautiful about Lurra, the cooking techniques they use and the respect of the produce which they use. I am happy that I discovered this place and I feel that it is something different for my list of London restaurants.
For more information about Lurra go to their website, I highly recommend you book and if you are not keen to sit at the bar then say so. They have limited number of tables, and with the calming atmosphere I think that people take their time.
Have you been to Lurra before? Let me know what you think about it below. Let me know your thoughts on paying more for quality ingredients.