Not since Eva Peron has there been such a famous Argentinean icon as the Gaucho restaurants which are famed for their top notch steaks.
This branch is on St. Mary Street and boy does it not disappoint on decor and style. Seductive and sleek, as soon as you step inside you won't want to leave. From the welcoming reception area, bar and trademark black leather padded walls which open up into a seating area with modern leather white couches and sleek low sofas, the entire restaurant oozes luxury.
Gaucho is a truly five star theatre with a central area with trademark cow skin chairs surrounded by cascading chrome staircases that lead you up to two different areas. The first one is decked out in smartly finished tables and white leather seats with a stunning large organ in the corner which is a reminder that this grand building previously had other uses. The other room, just off the reception area, is reached via a steep spiral staircase and is a moody area of tables covered with red leather backed chairs.
Meanwhile, the chandeliers hanging down are stunning and provide a great backdrop to the central area with the signature cow skin canvas art adorning the walls. The black and white lattice effect on the ceiling is particularly effective as is the other seating area with red leather seating. To the side is a comfortable black leather banquette with a couple of booths for larger parties.
There is a gentle buzz even around late afternoon with diners still licking their lips after tucking into one of the many steaks. The mix of clientele is testament to the fact that Gaucho is enjoyed by a wide range of people including businessmen and women, couples and larger parties celebrating special occasions. If you go for a seat at the side you can admire the views not only of the restaurant but also the tray of the different meat cuts that wing their way to diners' tables beforehand so you can select your specific slab of marbled perfection.
Gaucho has built up a strong reputation for their Argentinean beef which is the cornerstone of this restaurant. Cuts come in different weights from 225g to 400g and prices weigh in at £10 to £20. There’s a selection of South American favourites from ceviches to sausages and emapanadas which are a type of savoury pastry that’s typically sold on the streets of Buenos Aires.
The Bife de Cuadril at just over a tenner demands to be savoured. The quality of the meat cannot be argued with - lean, full of flavour and well cooked, however the steaks are sometimes a little too well done if you are expecting Argentinian cooking methods. These steaks do however demand respect so you should treat them with it. The texture is smooth but would melt more in the mouth if it was done a little pinker on the medium side as the edges can be a little tough to get your knife into. However, the juices create a great flavour on the palate and you can instantly taste the quality of the beef. Be prepared for your bill to creep up steadily though as a trip to Guacho isn’t a cheap one. Opt for some fat chips packed that are more like large potato wedges.
With a vast wine list there’s also a focus on Argentinean wine which Gaucho has been building for a number of years with an emphasis on the Terruno, their own label which represents the Latin grape varieties. The Vida Chenin is a delicate and clean tasting white and one of the best by the glass on the menu. This wine has slight tinges of honey and is an ideal accompaniment to meat. There’s also an impressive array of fine and rare wine but prices are steep with a 2000 Malbec setting you back over £110 while a bottle of Antacura Merlot will cost you around £65. The cocktail focus shifts to the Americas which provides Latin spirit if you're in the mood for a party.
The Last Word
Gaucho breezes to a sterling five star performance for decor, ambience and fantastic food. However, the pricing takes the edge off awarding it a perfect score as you’ll soon be racking up the pounds not only on your waistline.