I’m a massive fan of Bristol: its general laid back and friendly attitude. My rare visits to London are therefore often a bit of a shock to the system. People are always in a hurry, I’m often not seen being so small and end up in someone’s armpit on the tube, and it’s super expensive. Consequently, when asked to visit an old uni friend at his new abode, I was initially hesitant. The deal to get me there? Steak at Gaucho! Oh – and riding around on the back of his vespa rather than the yucky tube.
Dotted around London (and Leeds and Manchester), Gaucho is a wonder of Argentinian cuisine. I was there for one reason only though: the steak. For anyone who is interested in the rest of the food you can read the Gaucho Food menu here.
The four of us side-stepped the starter aspects of the menu, substituting the first course of eating with cocktails. How could we not when the cocktail list is inspired by Tato Giovannoni, recently named Argentine bartender of the decade!? I selected the Dama Blanca: a delicious concoction of Tanqueray gin, Hesperidina liqueur, fresh lemon juice and sweetened with a touch of cane syrup; creating a Buenos Aires take on the classic White Lady.
2 rounds of this cocktail before heading to our table, I was understandingly ridiculously excited when the waiter brought us over a board of meat to choose our desired cut of beef. That’s right – a board covered in meat. A friend had told me about this, however that did not prepare me for how awesome this looked – I’m experiencing extreme salivation issues just at the thought of it. I’d also like to point out that they have 2 pages of the menu with the heading ‘BEEF’ – just amazing. Probably not a place to take any vegetarians, particularly with the cowhide decor around the restaurant. :S
I managed to persuade the dining companions round to the Gaucho Sampler. Having all been before they were not quite as enthusiastic and humoured me on my choices. 😉 The sampler includes a combination of all the cuts of steak available: Cuadril (rump), Lomo (fillet), Ancho (ribeye) and Chorizo (sirloin), totalling 1.2kg of meat! 🙂 We almost chose this between two of us (the cocktails had definitely hit by then) before, luckily, being advised it was more appropriate for four. Still doubtful that this would satisfy my appetite, I added an extra steak between us to the order: ‘Tira de Ancho’ – a spiral cut of ribeye slow grilled with cimichurri. The meal wasn’t all meat focused. We chose three sides between the table of four including Humita, crushed new potatoes and sauteed spinach. The humita was the highlight of the sides – a scrumptious combination of roasted pumpkin and sweetcorn, served in a corn husk. The steak was incredibly delicious – just melted in the mouth. I am also now converted to the ribeye cut for its fuller flavour over the fillet.
Puddings were ordered, but admittedly after the amount of red wine I had drank (solely to accompany the steak of course) the chosen apple pancakes could have tasted like anything and so I do not feel I could give a well-rounded review. :-S I did however have severe food envy of the cheese board. Again you have a board of cheese to select from (making the overall selection process much more exciting) that you can choose three to five to accompany oatcakes. My fellow diner chose wisely with two of the most delicious goats cheeses and a sheep’s cheese option. I managed to sneak a few little slithers – Mmmmmm mmmmmm.
The waiter was just lovely – keeping us topped up and wine and laughing appropriately at my ridiculous excitement for the steak. 🙂 He even brought us over a second board of steak at the beginning to show us some alternative cuts – we had 10 pieces of steak just sitting on our table! Living the dream. 😉
The prices aren’t cheap – more of a celebration meal than an average popping out to grab some food. I was being repaid an old debt for getting my uni friend through his degree – Nick your debt is definitely well and truly paid!!! 😉 Wonderful steak, hilarious company, great wine and cocktails = extremely happy Kirsty!