Loud, trendy…average food
‘If it didn’t moo, don’t sit on it’. This, surely, is the philosophy at Gaucho, where a horde of cow skins have been parted from their flesh to clad chairs and walls. Every other discernible surface is a sulky shade of black, dimly lit with wag-chic white chandeliers. The darkness is compounded by windows that are boarded up with black slats, resulting in a space that is obstinately blogger unfriendly.
The meat is Argentinian, and before its timely demise, can be found grazing peaceably along the flat plains of the fertile Pambas. A less joyous existence awaits in London; raw rump, sirloin, fillet, rib-eye, and a marinated spiral cut of Churrasco de Cuadril are brought out on a hefty slab of wood by an enthused waiter who points out their merits.
After our fervent educator feels he has imparted enough knowledge for us to make a decent choice of steak, a selection of bread, butter and cheese help to peruse the rest of the menu. In keeping with the South American premise, a starter of tuna ceviche is chosen, marinated in a citrus dressing and perfectly acceptable.
The steaks are cooked in the customary Argentinian way – turned only once on the grill and salted on only one side. Ours is ordered medium rare and arrives just so, with a side of finely julienned potatoes, braised in milk and then fried. Both the béarnaise sauce and steak knife arrive unashamedly late, with only a few inches of meat left to eat. On arrival, the steak knife is blunt and the sauce unexceptional. Lamb cutlets are thick, tender, welcome wedges, arranged on a dollop of crushed aubergine puree and finished with a dusky salsa of sun-dried tomato, black olive and pine nut.
A peach crumble for dessert has the distinct whiff of shop bought biscuit, but is otherwise quite tasty. Nothing ground-breaking to report, but if you have the carnal urge to chew on a cow in low light around twelve different locations in London, then voila. Service is slow, average price per person is £45.
Tube: Piccadilly Circus