We went along to check out one of our favourite steak restaurants in London recently: Gaucho in Piccadilly to see if there have been any changes in quality since the recent change in ownership. And I am so pleased to report that, the service and quality of food are still as top-notch as it has ever been. Gaucho remarkably is one of those restaurants that can offer a consistent level of service and produce, because they have such an in-depth training programme for all their staff (I’ve heard rumours it is a minimum 4 weeks training programme) and they source the beef from their own farms in Argentina. In fact, mention the word Gaucho to any restauranteur in Argentina and you can see their face turn green with envy.
On our weekday visit, the Piccadilly branch was as busy as ever, with not a spare table in sight on the ground floor. The decor is smart and modern and doesn’t have the distinct cow skin motif on the ground floor space, but you can still find it on their first floor dining space.
Their passion for steak is undeniable here, as they begin the evening by bringing along various cuts of raw beef to explain the differences and allow you to appreciate the quality of their produce. If you want something a bit leaner, opt for the fillet; for something with a distinctive flavour, then opt for the ribeye.
Some of the dishes, you might not classically connect with Argentina but they have added clever little touches that you might not have noticed. Seared scallops are packed with flavours thanks to the smoked paprika and aji molido oil (aji molido is a chilli powder from South America). Whilst the sashimi grade tuna ceviche has red jalapeño and ginger and lightly dressed with soy and sesame, finished off with a fresh guacamole base.
Whether you go for the sirloin, ribeye or the fillet, the option I would highly recommend here is their marinated meats. The churrasco de lomo or chorizo is a spiral cut with the beef marinated with parsley, garlic and olive oil. The meat sets the standard in terms of what you expect of a juicy, tender tasting steak, but the marinated version adds punchy flavours into an already brilliant dish.Photo courtesy of David Griffin
If you have any room left, do try out their classic dulce de leche cheesecake. It isn’t a light dessert, but a real winner for those with a sweet tooth.