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Massively popular in Spain, the Sagardi steakhouse chain has chosen Shoreditch to open its first London branch. But this is no routine grilled-beef joint – the gastronomic hotspot of The Basque Country provides the culinary know-how behind the menu. The capacious dining room can seat more than 140, yet the dark-wood and slate interiors and leather-clad benches produce a warm, inviting atmosphere. As do the staff, who are keen to provide pairing suggestions for each course from the Basque-focused wine list. Charcuterie and pintxos (Basque tapas) account for starters. We began with moreish ham croquettes, plus some spicy grilled morcilla (black pudding) before the main act. Txuletón is what to order here: steak from cattle that are at least six years old, which is then seared on a Basque-style grill (over an oak-wood fire). The massive 800g cut we enjoyed is initially served medium-rare, with staff happy to cook it for longer if required – but our beautifully tender slab needed no extra grill-time. Sides of spiced potato wedges and salad make ideal accompaniments. Grilled fish is also an option, and the list of ‘grandma’s home cooking’ Basque dishes shouldn’t be ignored: braised lamb’s trotters in Biscay sauce, perhaps. Desserts stick to Basque country traditions too, and we loved the melt-in-the-mouth goxua sponge cake. Is there space for another steakhouse chain in London? Given Sagardi’s singular contribution to the genre our answer is ‘yes’ – or, as the Basques would say, ‘bai!’
020 3802 0478
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