I will keep this post brief as the majority of you will have been to Gaucho, and those of you who have not should go, just to say you’ve been. Gaucho is an Argentinian steak restaurant chain. You could do a lot worse than going there for good quality steak, service and convenient locations – less easy on the wallet though.
They offer a good selection of South American starters including ceviche, empanadas and cured meats. We went for the tuna ceviche and beetroot salad on this occasion. Main course we opted for the fillet and the ‘special cut’ with a marinade and peppercorn sauce. Sides of fries, field mushrooms and spinach to share. All cooked to perfection. It was delicious. To finish off we ordered a selection of cheeses and a pisco sour. Needless to say a long run was in order the next day.
My only nit – actually there are three things – with Gaucho is the way they stride over with a wooden platter of raw steaks, asking if ‘you’ve been here before’ before explaining the types of steak cuts on the menu and what they look like, regardless. This annoys me on a number of levels, first of all it’s a waste of good meat as they can’t serve that after being showcased around. Secondly, do they seriously assume that all of their clientele doesn’t know the difference between the cuts? Three, even if you are not au fait with type of cuts, we can read! the menu explains (with the Spanish name annoyingly written first in bold…) what the types of cuts are and what to expect. You just have to prepare yourself for this charade and sit there and nod politely.
The other issue I have with Gaucho is the décor, leatherette and cow hide seats with black wall paper and far too much reflective metallics. For those of you who have not frequented at Gaucho, it’s as if they’ve asked Lawrence Llewelyn Bowen to ‘go wild’ with the Argentinian theme and make it relevant for youngsters with money to spend. The outcome is like something out of a 90’s pop band music video.
Saying that the food and service (except the explanation on the cuts of meat) are great so you could do a lot worse. But it’s not cheap and the Hawksmoor or even Paternoster Chop House do as good – if not better – steak without all of the fuss.