It is easy to be critical when you are spending vast sums of money dining out: the service, the food or the decor, there is generally something that is not to everyone’s liking. Gaucho Hampstead is one of those rare places where it is almost impossible to fault unless you are a vegetarian.
The decor is in their reassuringly familiar black and white designs especially with their famous cowhide patterns. It might be over the top for some people, but this is dining out as a special, glamorous occasion. The long corridor design works particularly well in showcasing their sleek, modern kitchen. At this branch, they also have an elegant outdoor terrace complete with a traditional Argentinian asado grill for you to enjoy fine dining in a relaxed environment.
There is no other word you could use apart from astounding to describe the food at Gaucho. They deliver a taste of Argentina without the need for the long distance flight. Their traditional crab tostada is flavoured with unusual black bean purée, avocado, chilli, lime and coriander. Whilst the seafood sampler is the must order starter for any self-respecting seafood lover; the tuna, stone bass and shrimps were delightfully chilled and fresh tasting. My favourite being the stone bass tiraditos, which had a crisp, clean taste as the fish was marinated with appetising coconut vinaigrette.
There is no escaping Gaucho is all about the beef. There have been many pretenders to the crown, but Gaucho is still top of the pyramid when it comes to delivering the best steaks in the country. The cows used by Gaucho are exclusive to them, they use Aberdeen-Angus cattle reared on the flat, grassy plains of Pampas in Argentina.
We tried diametrically opposite cuts, the rib-eye was beautifully marbled, indulgent and full-bodied tasting and it was richly spiced up with chimichurri sauce; whilst the fillet was perfectly lean and tender. They might both be very different cuts of meat but they were equally flavoursome in their own unique ways. Their attention to detail and sourcing the best ingredients even goes down to the sides; you will experience some of the best heirloom tomatoes and flat mushrooms that can be found in any London restaurants. Even their chips come in a fat or thin option.
The Gaucho group is clearly going from strength to strength with branches worldwide in Dubai and Hong Kong and having varied events to cater for all tastes and ages such as their electro brunch, film nights and young Gaucho menus. Many guests are regular, repeat diners, so make sure you visit Gaucho soon and realise you don’t need to look anywhere else for the best steaks in town.