What can you tell me about Sagardi?
They hail from Spain, where they've a few restaurants across the country, specialising in Basque cuisine. This is their first venture outside Spain.
Where are they?
In London, they've set up shop in Shoreditch on Curtain Road. They're just a few doors up from the Shoreditch Flat Iron and about five minutes from Shoreditch High Street station.
And who's it suitable for?
With some large tables (and a pretty large room too), we think it's a great space for larger groups - and if you're after some Basque steak, then it definitely delivers on that front.
Where should I go for a drink first?
In this area, we'd always recommend The Clove Club as a potential stop for a drink (as long as you can get a seat).
And what should I order?
We're very fond indeed of Spanish cooking, so it's very easy to pick something from all over the menu here. The choices are appetisers, seasonal, from the Basque grill and "our down home cooking" and we took a little something from everything. Particular highlights were:
The - somewhat uniquely presented - grilled morcilla from Biscay (£9) - extraordinarily good black pudding served with strips of sweet red pepper to cut through the richness.
The "Roxario" ciderhouse-style salt cod omelette (£14) - this was essentially a large but slim and gooey tortilla. We think this is a must-order and it's something that pairs very well with their Heirloom tomato salad (£9). If that salad is on the menu when you visit, we think it's another unmissable order - a stonking selection of ripe tomatoes that tasted of the summer just gone.
But the main event at Sagardi is clearly the Basque steak, the Txuleton. You'll see this on display if you wander past the open kitchen and it's fair to say it's probably on most people's orders here. We've had this meat elsewhere in London and it's just as good here. It's £6 per 100g for the standard and £7 for the matured and £12 if you're pushing the boat out for the Galician (which we think you should).
As for sides, we think the lettuce and spring onions are probably your best bet for an accompaniment - not the wedges, no matter how good they sound.
Do make sure to leave some space for dessert - they have torrijas here (essentially Basque bread pudding) and it's just ace. They do have their own home-made ice creams too - which we hear very good things about, but were off when we visited.
And what about drink?
It's all about the Txakoli here - the slightly sparkling Basque wine poured from a great height. We love both the wine and the spectacle - so go for this first before making your way through the excellent Spanish wine list.
With London's other Basque restaurants up west, getting a taste of Basque beef in Shoreditch is always welcome. We also think their bar at the front is going to be a pretty handy spot to pop into for the odd pintxos too.
Sagardi is at 95 Curtain Rd, London EC2A 3BS. Find out more about Sagardi.
Hot Dinners were invited to Sagardi. Prices were correct at the time of writing.