I love steak.
I might even boldly say steak is my favourite meal, maybe tied at the top with a really good curry (blog idea, where sells the BEST curry in Brum?)
So when David stated so confidently that he had eaten THE most amazing steak in the UK, I was – I admit – a little curious (and quite hungry).
So we headed to Gaucho, in Piccadilly London (this was before we’d heard a new one had just opened in Birmingham). Bubbling with excitement and hunger, I’d been poring over the menu weeks in advance, yet still couldn’t decide what I would order.
Rattling along the tube, I asked David what sauce he would recommend. “Oh, you won’t need a sauce”, he spoke confidently, barely glancing up from his phone. “The steaks are too good, you won’t want it.”
Won’t need a sauce??
I always have a sauce with steak. Those little fresh supermarket packets of peppercorn or Diane from Tesco, or creamy Béarnaise, or beef dripping… a steak always needs a bit of sauce! Come on.
We arrived at Gaucho at 7.30pm on a Friday evening – and the restaurant was alive. I leapt at the waiter, requesting he bring me a passion fruit margarita and a plate of melt-in-the-mouth cheesy bread ASAP and started looking at the menu (for the fourteenth time).
I’m no steak expert, but choosing was clearly more complex than I had imagined. Did I want sirloin, fillet, rib-eye? The mysterious Chateaubriand?
Luckily (but also slightly surreally – maybe I don’t get out enough) our waiter brought round a huge wooden board with each type of steak on, uncooked, and explained how each one would taste.
Desperate to get started, we placed our order. David and I shared a selection of Empanadas to start; beef, humita, and smoked ham with mozzarella. The two friends we were with opted to share the special squid and avocado appetizer which one of them boldly stated was “the best starter” he had ever eaten (I quickly jotted that down as an excellent sound bite).
For main, I chose a fillet ‘Lomo’ steak and, ignoring Dave’s protests, ordered a Béarnaise sauce for dipping. Without hesitation, he picked a Churrasco de Chorizo the size of a small elephant.
After some deliberation, our friends chose the 700g Chateaubriand to share, and we all picked sides of fat chips, oven baked gnocchi with truffle sauce, humita salenta (served in a corn husk with sweetcorn and mozzarella) braised petit pois with Spanish chorizo, white wine, egg and coriander cress; and whole roasted cauliflower cheese with parmesan cream.
Grudgingly, I must admit, David was right. I tried my ‘Lomo’ steak without any sauce – I was curious, did it really taste that good by itself?
It was ok.
Alright, it was fabulous. I can’t really describe it. This cut of meat was just perfect by itself; tender, bursting with flavour, succulent. The béarnaise sauce was demoted as a sponge for my fat chips instead (and did a very good job).
By the end of the second course I was also the size of a small elephant, but pudding was calling and we ordered Mango Mess (an explosion of fresh mango, meringue pieces and cream – a perfect light and fruity way to finish a heavy meal) and handmade chocolate truffles with white chocolate sauce.
That key question though – was this in fact the best steak in the UK? I thought it was sublime. But you know… I need to try it a few more times I think, just to be sure (for science).
Gaucho is based all across London, with 12 restaurants in the capital, and one in Leeds, Manchester and the newest in Birmingham. It offers gluten free options, Mini Gaucho for children and even brunch. Main courses start at £16.50. Visit www.gauchorestaurants.com for more.
***Disclosure*** – This is an honest review of Gaucho in Piccadilly, London. We received a discount on the food we ordered in return for a write up in Round & About magazine. The article that appeared in the magazine has been edited for my own personal blog.