Ibai Review | “It’s Worth Coming for the Galician Blond Alone”

Ibai is all about food from the French Basque region

Ibai is a new Basque steak restaurant from Nemanja Borjanovic and Will Sheard, the team behind meat supplier Txuleta, and chef Richard Foster. If you’ve ever had their Galician blond steaks at one of the many London restaurants they supply, you’ll know just how good they are, so it’s brilliant to see the team open up their own place. Ibai is in Farringdon close to Restaurant St. Barts and hot new opening Cloth, in a big old site that used to be Lino.

Eat This

Before you get to the main event of those standout steaks, there’s a whole load of snacks and other bits you’ll definitely want to order. The Croque Ibai is an absolute essential, four little golden bites of boudin noir, carabinero prawns and ossau-iraty cheese stuffed into soft, toasted bread. It’s every bit as good as it sounds. We then went a little lighter on the other starters, going for the plate of anchovies and a beautiful carabinero tartare, topped with a healthy dollop of caviar. 

For the steaks, there’s a choice of wagyu from Norfolk; Black Angus from Spain; and Galician blond ex-dairy from Spain, which is definitely the one to go for. The beef is superb, beautifully cooked medium rare on the grill and served with a big bowl of fries and optional sauces like the ossau-iraty and pepper. It’s a big bit of beef, so if you hit a wall before you finish (as we did), you can take the rest home.

Drink This

On the basement level, there’s an ageing room for the beef, a private dining room, and a wine cellar, stocked high with bottles, predominantly from Spain and France. We went by the glass, including a lovely cava to start and a rich Tempranillo to go with the steak. 

The wine cellar at Ibai

Why Go

For steak lovers, it doesn’t really get much better than that Galician blond – it’s worth coming for this alone.

Key Information

Address | 90 Bartholomew Close, London, EC1 7BN
For more information | @ibai_london