Wherever you are in the world, you’re sure to stumble across a Gaucho. From Dubai to London, this upmarket steakhouse has been feeding hungry carnivores daily.
We popped into one of our favourite international branches, Gaucho Canary Riverside in the UK’s capital to see if our favourite eatery has managed to hold its own against stiff new global competition.
Gaucho’s brand is inherently Argentine. It’s these very wines, meats flavours and dining experience that Gaucho wants its customers to be enveloped by. This South American flavour is mirrored in the restaurants décor as well as in the staff’s passion for the brand. I wouldn’t go so far as to feel transported there but you certainly get a truly authentic experience.
Before the meal starts the meat is bought to the table raw so the attentive staff can explain the different cuts and how we would like them to be cooked. All three cuts of steak were of the highest quality and were cooked to perfection and this really places Gaucho in the top bracket of steak restaurants in terms of quality.
The starter and accompaniments section seems to be revised regularly. Some welcome additions in the form of Humita Salenta served in a corn husk, although a little disappointed to see everyone’s favourite mashed potato and creamed spinach dropped from the menu as both were superb.
Between courses the service was prompt and knowledgeable without staff hovering over the table and being intrusive. Even though the meal took two hours we were never rushed even after desert. The clientele was very much couples, post work meetings and friends socialising as you would expect of this area of London. It hasn’t lost the intimate dining feel but is still large enough that getting a table on short notice isn’t impossibility. When the weather permits you simply must opt to dine al fresco with beautiful views out across the River Thames and shaded by low hanging trees, that’s if you don’t mind the odd leafy garnish! If it’s the full Gaucho experience you are after knowing which red to pair with your main and which sweet white goes well with your desert then the wine pairing is definitely worth it. Their extensive wine list is only useful if you have the knowledgeable staff to help and Gaucho certainly ticks that box as well with their in-house sommeliers.
The entire Gaucho menu is available for takeaway via the website which is unusual for a restaurant of this standard. Not that I would advise it as eating this menu at home would certainly detract massively from the entire experience as a whole. Who doesn’t love sitting on a furry cow print chair in glossy black mirrored darkness? It’s about the ambience, the river setting, the wine, everything contributes to a great meal and a unique dining experience.
Regular visitors to Gaucho will know that the restaurant is more than just an up-market steak house. The excellent bar inside makes for a perfect late evening retreat with skilled bar staff able to provide a huge selection of exquisite cocktails based around Buenos Aires classics from the 1950s. Couple this with a superb Sunday lunch offering or the brunch that precedes it and you start to see why so many people chose Gaucho as their number one eatery.
With so many good steak restaurants in London how does Gaucho set itself apart? Animal skin backed chairs add great individuality and flair and link well with the company’s reputation for great steak. The terrace and the potential views on offer are certainly unmatched. Many restaurants will attempt to deliver the same top-level service that we received at Gaucho from beginning to end. So often these decisions are no more than a personal preference but on account that Gaucho are so true to their Argentine heritage they certainly get my vote.