9 Seymour Place,
020 7724 4545
Mon 6pm-10.30pm, Tues-Sat 12-2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm, Sun 11am-3.30pm
Bright Basque grill restaurant with an open kitchen, serving traditional tapas and large sharing plates of grilled steak and fish.
Lurra’s sleek, modern interior is squeezed into a slice of Marylebone’s Seymour Place. Outside, this is quintessential West London; chatter drifts across from the pub opposite, its windows shaded with sprays of colour from so many hanging baskets. Inside however, this is Basque country – the name Lurra means ‘land’ in Basque.
A bright window table becomes cosy by candlelight as the evening fades and we linger over wine and tapas before getting stuck into the main course. At Lurra this comes in the form of whole grilled fish or Galician beef – the latter considered by many to be the best in the world.
Plump green olives to start, stuffed with orange and – wait for it – strawberries, which sounds, well, quite horrible actually, but is genuinely a fresh and successful combination. A dish of hake next – the pearlescent fish just cooked, alongside dainty clams. A couple of hulking prawns are rudely pink and soft, ready for swiping through garlic laced olive oil which we barely resist just drinking. Excellent bread is torn and used to suck it from bowl to mouth.
The beef here is serious business. Why is Galician beef so good? It’s old. Most cows in this country are slaughtered in their second year of life but in Galicia, they let them age anything up to 17 years. The piece we order has notched up 14 years and my goodness, is it punchy. The meat has time to mature naturally, resulting in a depth of flavour that’s rich with umami, its fat almost cheesy in flavour. We squabble for the last slice, nibbling scraps from the bone. A fistfight is avoided solely due to the presence of chips with smoked paprika and aioli.
To finish, ginger foam, which gives nothing away on the menu but is joyful in reality – more like a loose honeycomb than an annoying, cheffy indulgence. And that sums up Lurra entirely. The food is simple, yet elegant and expertly cooked; there are no fancy fripperies, only technique used to show off well-sourced ingredients from their best angle. We roll home feeling satisfied that everything is right with the world, just as long as it always contains superbly bred, charcoal grilled, sliced and salted Galician steak.