Sagardi Basque Country Chefs
Time Out says
A London branch for the Spanish steak specialists.
We’ve had the Argentinians. We’ve had the Americans. We’ve even had the Brits. Now there’s fresh meat in town: Sagardi, a steakhouse from the Basque region. Part of a respected Spanish group, this is its London flagship.
The large dining room has a hint of high-class dungeon about it: all heavy hanging chains, warm woods and gleaming cabinets of wine. (Sadly no whips, though.) Chefs bustle behind a glass screen. You can see the kitchen, just not hear it. Or, now I think of it, smell it.
Which – while it’s a novelty these days to come away from anywhere with a grill not smelling like a bonfire – is a damn shame. Because the food smells (and tastes) terrific. The signature ingredient is a Basque speciality: txuletón, beef cut from cows of at least six years old. The result is an immensely full-flavoured piece of meat. All it needs is proper cooking, which Sagardi does beautifully, over burning oak. Sure enough, our impeccably seasoned, cooked-on-the-bone txuletón vaca had that winning combo of intensely smoky outer and ruby-red, melt-in-the-mouth middle. But this joint is no one-trick pony. There were moreish pan-fried txistorra (crisp, cocktail-sized cured sausages) and a terrific salt-cod omelette: a pillowy, herb-flecked tortilla punctuated by mellow sautéed peppers and onions, plus enough fish chunks to give it texture and flavour without overwhelming the other ingredients.
There’s a tome of wine heavy enough to press flowers with, but sensing that we weren’t secret oligarchs, our waiter recommended a traditional ‘porron’ of Riojo (£16 for 500ml). A glass watering can (of sorts), the idea is that you ‘open wide’, hold it up high and pour the wine, in a constant stream, into your mouth. Fun, yes. Easy? Just don’t wear a white shirt is all I’m saying.
But – and it’s a big but – prices are painful. Even for somewhere pitched at the chest-beating alphas of the Square Mile, the bill is likely to trigger a ‘sharp intake of breath’ (you know, the one builders give you when you ask how much the tiling will be). So go on, find a friend with an expense account. Then do it some damage.
Simple, healthful cooking including meat and fish grilled over hot coals, marmitako stews, txistorra sausage, Idiazabal sheep’s cheese, cod and “txipirones” (baby squid).
If you take your steak as seriously as the Basques do, relish in our premium red meat Txuleta (chuleton in Spanish) or txuleton; enormous rib steaks from fattened, old cows that have lived in complete freedom with a 100% natural diet (min 6 years old).
Boasting an array of crafted beverages and a collection of over 200 wines to suit all palates.
95 Curtain Road, Shoreditch
|Transport:||Tube: Old Street|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £150.|
|Opening hours:||Monday-Saturday 12:00 - 23:00 Sunday 12:00 - 21:30|
|Do you own this business?|