The duo behind Marble Arch’s little taste of San Sebastian, Donostia, have added a sister restaurant just across the road from the original. Lurra –inspired by the charcoal and wood grills (or Erretegias) found throughout the Basque country – opened in Seymour Place on 2 September.
Donostia arrived on the London dining scene in 2012 courtesy of couple and business partners, Nemanja Borjanovic and Melody Adams, and soon became famous for its “perfectly executed morsels”. The restaurant is also known for its large sharing plates including whole grilled turbot cooked over wood in a fish basket, inspired by Restaurante Elkano, located on the outskirts of San Sebastian.
Their latest effort will feature another Basque speciality Kokotxas (cod tongues) cooked three ways, as well as sea bream, baby red mullet, baby octopus and tiger prawns, all cooked over charcoal. Vegetables will also be cooked over hot coals, including leeks with romesco sauce, chargilled peppers and ceps with egg yolk. Donostia’s head chef, Damian Surowiec, (ex Barrafina and Salt Yard) will become exec chef overseeing both Lurra and Donostia.
Donostia was one of the first restaurants to introduce Basque Vaca Vieja (meaning old cow) and Galician Rubia Gallega rib eye steaks to the London food scene, and these cuts will feature as permanent signatures on Lurra’s menu. Borjanovic and Adams’s import business, Txuleta, supplies the beef which also keeps über-hot restaurants Kitty Fisher’s and Chiltern Firehouse in steaks, as well as Goodman and butchers Turner & George.
To the back of the restaurant is a private courtyard with space for twenty diners in the warmer months (which seem to have deserted us), and a chef’s garden to grow herbs. The first floor dining room is available for private hire or as a function space and can accommodate 40 people standing and 30 people sitting on a large table.
Lurra is open Monday-Saturday for dinner and Tuesday-Sunday for lunch. A full brunch menu for Saturdays and Sundays will launch later in the year. Reservations can be made on email@example.com.