Hattie Lloyd 28/06/24


Txuleta is unlike any other steak on earth.

And sure, it might be a bit awkward coming out of your mouth (it’s pronounced ‘choo-le-tah’), but it’s absolutely sensational going in.

It comes from retired dairy cows in the Basque region of Northern Spain, and it’s what they serve at Ibai, the new restaurant headed up by Richard Foster (it’s pronounced ‘Richard Foster’). He is the former culinary overlord at the status-soaked celebrity-magnet that is The Chiltern Firehouse, and he could have chosen virtually anything as his next project. Well, he chose this. And it’s excellent.

ibai restaurant

You’ll find it on a tiny cobbled backstreet nestled between the Barbican, Smithfield Market and St Barts hospital. The building itself is a former factory, and they’ve leaned into the industrial chic vibes, peppering the space with intimate semi-circular booths. At the back there’s a nice big open kitchen where you can watch the chefs (all tattoos and top knots) doing their thing.

The food they’re prepping is, for the most part, steak. And it really is the star here – it’s being flown in like a world-famous celebrity. That’s because there’s a serious argument that Galician blond beef makes some of the best steak in the world. The thick, bone-in cuts known as txuleton come from ex-dairy cows which are at least eight years old, giving the beef a strikingly intense, mature flavour. It might take a moment to get used to it, but it’s the beefiest beef you’ve ever had. Here, you can get it as a 1kg T-bone, sirloin, or rib to share, alongside some fullblood Wagyu from Norfolk. It’ll all come sliced & ready to be dipped in an array of sauces, the best of which are probably the red wine and the anchovy salsa.


Other things on the menu include other Basque classics like croque Ibai (carabinero, boudin noir and Tomme de Brebis) which is basically the boujiest toastie you’ve ever had, filled with sausage, prawns and oodles of melted cheese, sprinkled in chilli & drizzled in honey; there are tuna T-bones with herb & chilli salsa; bowls of king crab rice; and charred cauliflower with Ossau-Iraty cheese, hazlenut & parsley. And to finish? You can get a Gateau Basque with almond and black cherries that’s filled with a custardy soft filling…


…and that really takes the cake.


NOTE: Ibai is open now, and you can book a table on their website.

PREVIOUS PERK: Nudge Members enjoyed three exclusive preview nights before opening, with 40% off the food bill. Don’t miss the next one: sign up for a free trial here.

Ibai | 90 Bartholomew Close, London, EC1 7BN

Steak fan? Make a pilgrimage to London’s best steak restaurants


90 Bartholomew Close, Barbican, EC1 7BN

9.0 | Amazing