Garufa Argentine Grill, Highbury
104 Highbury Park
020 7226 0070
by Sigmund Fried
The idea of steak for breakfast is ostensibly ridiculous; bloody and parlous it’s synonymous with late nights, shouty conversations and red wine. In the context of a Saturday morning meal, which is all softly delineated regrets and coffee, it seems kind of wrong. But what the hell, I’d made a date with Hashley Brown and compared to his increasingly esoteric culinary forays into the world of the Leopold Bloom-esque breakfast (“Inner organs of beasts and fowls…”), steak was child’s play: a black livered, pastis-slurping French child perhaps, but child’s play nonetheless.
We’d decided on the Garufa Grill by virtue of it being about 30 seconds from Hashley’s house and because we’d had a pretty satisfying late dinner at this charming Argentinian restaurant two weeks previously with Mrs Brown and her visiting sister. So with Ed Benedict and a couple of others in tow we made it to Garufa bleary-eyed and ordered the “Full Argentine Breakfast” (£9.80). Except for Ed, that is, who as a veggie opted, much to his chagrin — and our amusement – for organic muesli with 'milk or yogurt' (£2.50). Still, despite the tears and cursing he seemed to like it, as we all did the numerous, delicious café lattes we mainlined.
Back to the main event, we were more than satisfied. The scrambled eggs were creamy, the Portobello mushroom juicy and garlicky, and the 150g Argentine rump steak an artery-clogging treat, but it was the “Argentine-style” sausage’s pleasing spiciness that garnered the biggest plaudits. And the grilled tomato and toast were as good a supporting cast as could be hoped for. Happily sated and surrounded by good friends, I made up my mind about the steak issue there and then. Would I have it again? Yes I said yes I will Yes.