Gaucho: the Steaks Review

Gaucho-fillet-steak-cutA while back I wrote the Beeffanatic review of the Gaucho burger.  You can read that post here, but this one will focus on their steaks – which are excellent.  I’ve been to four different Gaucho locations around London and each time had a great steak experience.  Whether it be for a classy dinner or an impressive business lunch, Gaucho does know how to do Argentinian steaks (and wine) the right way.

Gaucho has come a long way in their 22 year lifespan.  They started off in the basement of their Piccadilly site way back in 1994.  Gaucho now owns all four floors of that location along with twelve other locations around London and additional restaurants in Leeds, Manchester, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, and Dubai.

A 1644According to Gaucho CEO and founder, Zeev Godik, 92% of the main courses ordered at Gaucho are their Argentinian beef.  We all know Argentines love beef and Gaucho certainly captures that passion from thousands of miles away in the British capital.  The Gaucho waitstaff are trained experts in the menu and if it’s your first time to Gaucho (which I hope it’s not) they will bring the meat board around to show off their cuts.

The main cuts of beef that occupy permanent placements on the Gaucho menu are the Lomo (fillet), Ancho (ribeye), Chorizo (sirloin), and Cuadril (rump). Also pictured above is the churrasco de chorizo which is a spiral-cut sirloin that is marinated in garlic, parsley, and olive oil.

Gaucho Steaks grilledOf course, I’m a ribeye man, and the Ancho steak on offer here is among the best for my money.  The delicate marbling melts into the meat during the expert grilling – resulting in a flavorful treat.  If you’re in a group and can’t decide on a cut (or if you’re just a super-hungry and well-off dude) you can spring for the Beef Sampler: 1.2 kgs of delectable meat with all four cuts represented for £99.

Along with Gaucho’s selection of standard sauces like hollandaise, béarnaise, peppercorn and mushroom, they offer a variety of Argentinian marinades for £1 that offer something a little different to other steak restaurants in London.  The Ají amarillo, red jalapeño chilli and olive oil marinade, for instance, adds a nice kick to any cut of meat.

Of the numerous ribeye steaks I’ve eaten in my time, the Gaucho ribeye offers something unique. And delicious. I can’t put my finger on why either, which is annoying.  It’s a unique flavor – something imparted by the grill, the fuel used? Or perhaps something intrinsic in the beef from the origin?  No matter the reason, the steak is excellent.

Gauchos-ribeye-steakOne of the main things that makes the Gaucho steak experience so great is that their staff are so willingly helpful and knowledgable about the beef-tastic menu.  If you’re confused on the cut, size, preparation, or flavor profile, the staff will have great suggestions for you.

This is a result of their own Gaucho Academy which every potential staff member must graduate from before working there. Founded eight years ago, the academy ensures that Gaucho staff come armed with product knowledge that is really unparalleled.

The Gaucho wine list, at last count, had over 200 varieties of Argentine wines on offer to accompany your beef.  It includes Gaucho’s own wine, produced on their vineyards in Mendoza, Argentina.  Gaucho’s director of wine, Phil Crozier, oversees production of that wine and the accompanying roster on the list. I’ll admit, I’ve never tried Gaucho’s own wine, but the wine list is formidable and you could have a lot of enjoyment drinking your way through it with some steak.

gaucho-interior-cowOf course, the other thing I really like about Gaucho restaurants is their penchant to upholster surfaces in cow hide.  The chairs, wall panels, ceiling panels, booths – wherever you look there is hide.  It’s not quite the commitment to “use every part and let none go to waste,” but it’s a step in that direction.

If you somehow are reading this article and have never visited a Gaucho, it’s time for you to close your browser, calmly get up from your desk and walk – do not run – to your nearest Gaucho.  Take a a friend, an opposite-sex friend, or a family member and sink your teeth into some excellent South American steaks – you won’t be sorry.  You can visit the Gaucho website to find all their locations!

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