It’s a widely known fact that the discerning gent is a fan of a good steak. There is nothing quite like the experience of tucking into a juicy slab of prime beef that just satisfies the hunter in many men. It’s just so primal. There are many restaurants in London that claim to offer a hearty portion of meat just the way you like, but does the sizzle really live up to the taste?
Gaucho is one such place, with a series of venues dotted around the UK that aim to draw in the discerning gent with a taste prime steak on the mind. At Elysium Magazine we know men’s penchant for a nicely carved piece of meat so it only makes sense that we subject Gaucho to further interrogation by knife and fork.
The Look, The Feel
Stepping into Gaucho there is an immediate feeling of grandeur, and this is just the lobby area with adjacent bar area. It’s the type of place the discerning gent would go when he’s looking to make a statement – that important second date or that key client meeting. Whether the mood strikes you to warm up at the bar before heading to the main restaurant or going straight up to be seated. The options are there, just remember that it is you that’s in control of this experience.
Seating in the restaurant area follows the grandeur theme – plush spacious seats catering to all group sizes and not too close to neighbouring tables either. Décor is in tune with the heritage of the restaurant – this is primarily prime beef country as the Argentinian lineage and gaucho’s (i.e. cowboys) dictate. Think cow hides and other cow-related paraphernalia. You’ll soon find yourself at ease with your dining guests browsing the menu.
Of the a la carte menu, it’s vast and it’s meaty. A mixture of traditional South American regional specialities sprinkled with a few tried and tested offerings. Not just for lunch or dinner, Gaucho has this year introduced a weekend brunch menu – for those craving a steak before lunch. For this particular occasion, the speciality sausages (£4.95 each) and the scallops (£17.50) were the preferred starter options. There is also an extensive wine list geared to the reds on offer with guidance from an expert sommelier – whose opinion on matching something suitable to your palate and dining options its advantageous to take.
Starters arrived with theatre and gusto from the service staff – after all, if you order speciality dishes expect them to arrive with vigour. The sausages looked very rustic on a large chopping block with accompanying condiments whilst the scallops with bacon and black pudding had the necessary finesse and combination to bring out the delicate taste of the seafood. So far, so good, but did the mains follow suit?
Part of the experience of choosing a venue like Gaucho is their expertise on beef. As part of the ordering process, the diner is presented with a platter of specific beef cuts – each with a back story but most importantly why the diner might opt for one chosen cut over another. The marbling, the fat content, the tendency of the muscle fibres to have led an intense or relaxed life previous to ending up on your plate – all key considerations to take into account before settling. Of course, guidance is there as and when required.
It would be rude not to have a beef dish here, but there are other options available. This evening required a ribeye steak (£30.95 for 400g) and the grilled lamb cutlets (£24.25) for variety. Pick your sauce for the beef and a selection of sides to ensure no space is left on the table. Arriving at the table with the enthusiasm and vigour described previously, the mains caught the eye along with the other senses too.
The mark of a good cut of beef is how easy the knife slices through and this ribeye certainly did not disappoint, retaining the juicy flavours this cut is renowned for – if cooked properly. The lamb followed suit, tender and flavoursome and quite the vision on the plate. Paired with the right red wine, as this meal was, equates to a highly satisfied diner.
Portions are generous and plentiful, so if there is space for desert do take the opportunity to indulge that little bit further. Otherwise, savour the tastes and good conversation a venue such as Gaucho will undoubtedly lead the discerning gent to have. Should there be space for desert after such a feast (not so on this occasion) then indulge further into what is a tempting list of sweet-toothed treats.
The grandeur and the theatre of the dining experience Gaucho serves up certainly puts this amongst the top tier of London restaurants to specialise in beef steak. The discerning gent is blessed with a few options to tempt him but the longevity of Gaucho and the mantra of ‘doing one thing and doing it well’ secures the restaurant amongst the top set. Highly recommended and bring an appetite.
Style: Steak house
Contact: Gaucho Piccadilly, 25 Swallow Street, London, W1B 4QR – Tel: 020 7734 4040