Gaucho Grill EC2
REVIEWS, March 5, 2006
Overall Value
2
out of 5
Food 
Service 
Ambience 
2
£70
  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambience

You would have to be a very gay cowboy indeed to dream up this new Broadgate branch of the Argentinean chain. Vast, semi-subterranean, upholstered with cowhide and lit with many chandeliers (style cliché of the moment), this is a steakhouse as might have been conceived by Liberace.

My visit did not start off well: the staff seemed to have difficulty locating the table I had booked. Thereafter, however, everything was pretty much sweetness and light. Our young waitress (Brazilian, since you ask) was certainly very charming, and, in the best way, surprisingly un-rushed.

Her first task was to bring us a platter groaning with great slabs of meat, and a long spiel about why you should have each type cooked in a particular way. We in fact chose from the menu: for our main courses we had a rib-eye (too small to have been dignified with a place on the platter) and ravioli. My guest – who combines a Madonna-style exercise régime with high steak consumption – pronounced the meat exceptional. More surprising was the pasta, which was very competent indeed. Pasta? There are indeed a few surprises on the food front here. One is that the long menu includes quite a lot for non-carnivores. The other is even more of a shock: most of the non-meat items – including, on our visit, excellent scallop ceviche, as well as very good bread and coffee – are done to an impressive standard.

By this point, I was confident that the bill would knock me for six. We were
right in the heart of money-broking land after all. But no: under £80 for a good lunch for two, with three glasses of wine (and, for pudding, a shared plate of excellent churros). And that, in this neck of the woods, is really quite a bargain.

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