Thursday, February 15, 2007

A little bit of Argentina on the Wharf

I was really surprised when T suggested Gaucho Grill for dinner as when I think of Gaucho Grill I conjure up an image of a large rare hunk of steak possibly even resplendent with a fine set of horns and probably still mooing. And that isn’t really typical of T and her risotto loving ways. But I was wrong, she might not be partaking of any slabs of meat but she loves the atmosphere and has become a aficionado of Gaucho Grills around the city. So T plumps for chicken whilst I peruse the impressive steak menu.

BIFE DE CUADRIL Rump – a uniquely lean and flavourful cut

BIFE DE CHORIZO Sirloin – with a belt of tasty crackling

BIFE DE LOMO Fillet – the tenderest cut of all

BIFE ANCHO Rib eye – a marbled sirloin with a tender skirt

GAUCHO SAMPLER - A taste of all four cuts of prime Argentine beef

CHURRASCO ’CUTS’ - A choice of cuts, spiral cut and marinated


First you select your cut, then the size of your slab and then a sauce. They are very happy to bring all the cuts out from the kitchen for your inspection and as much as I fancied the Gaucho sampler, I probably should leave that for another visit when I can share it with a fellow beef fiend (LLcoolT - when are you next in London?). So I went for a rare rib eye sirloin with béarnaise sauce, grilled mushrooms and the fattest of fat chips.

We decided to forgo a starter in favour of T’s suggestion of the fabulous cheese bread. We had to wait for it to come from the oven and T had to chase it but it was well worth it – a very good tip form a Gaucho regular! We dip it in the herby oil whilst we caught up on all the gossip! The Gaucho Grill is very buzzy and the Canary Wharf branch has twinkling blue lit trees lining the terrace outside. There are plenty of cow hide accoutrements, most of the chairs are backed in brown and cream cow hide as are the wall panels and the fat barstools. There’s lots of dark brown leather and dark wood, a little taste of Argentina at the Wharf. It's quite dark and not good for taking my food blog photos but good for atmosphere.

Our mains arrive and they are seriously tasty. My steak in very tender and perfectly cooked, the fat chips are indeed wonderfully plump, delicious and sprinkled with herbs, the mushrooms and dark and juicy and the béarnaise sauce just perfect for dipping the fat chips into. A very fine plate of food indeed.

Somehow we managed to squeeze in a shared chocolate truffle cake which is a rich chocolate cake topped with more chocolate in the form of a chocolate ganache, but rather frightening served with crème fraîche. Something we could both ignore!

Even after my lovely lunch today, I really enjoyed our meal. For various strange reasons I have never visited Gaucho Grill in this country, I’ve booked many a table for others and D and I once went along to one to find they was a problem and they’d had to close early. But now I finally eaten one of their succulent steaks and I really loved it. Three Argentinean beefy forks for the Gaucho Grill - Canary and I now, thanks to T, have a few more recommendations to visit!

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