What? As Gaucho say, for them, it’s all about the beef and Gaucho Broadgate makes up one of the fifteen restaurants in the group across the UK -twelve of which are in London, the others are in Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham.
New? Nope, it opened back in 2010.
Where? 5 Finsbury Avenue, Broadgate, EC2M 2PG www.gauchorestaurants.com
On the Menu: Of course, the main event is the beef, but it’s not all they have to offer and whilst it would be sacrilege to not have steak there are other dishes. Starters include the likes of Lomo carpaccio with baby kale, pine nuts and pumpkin seeds; tuna ceviche with guacamole and salmon tiraditos with mango, passion fruit, pomegranate and ají Amarillo. If for some unknown reason you don’t choose beef as your main then you’ll find the likes of grilled swordfish steak marinated in citrus zest, ají molido and honey, served with cucumber and coriander salsa or you could go for salt baked corn- fed chicken infused with chimichurri butter, roasted garlic and grilled lemon. There are four cuts of beef and then two special cuts, all the beef comes from Aberdeen Angus breed beef which are reared and grass fed on 45 handpicked farms in Argentina.
First Impressions: It’s hard to miss Gaucho Broadgate, a glass box rising out of the ground, juxtaposing with the stone Broadgate circle a few feet away. There’s a terrace for drier days, although when we visited the heavens had opened and the rain was torrential, but despite effectively being in a fish tank, you couldn’t hear the downpour. Naturally given its city location it’s going to draw the city slickers in and it was filled with groups of colleagues, business meetings and those taking clients out – but equally the more intimate corners of the restaurants were occupied by those clearly on dates.
The Look: Designed by Patsy Godik, Gaucho’s Creative Director, if Gaucho was a person it’d be suave, slick and a little bit seductive. Take the lift (it’s all rather James Bond) down from the bar into the underground restaurant and you’ll find mink grey crescent banquettes, structured walls, wooden panels snaking along the floor, mirrors, intimate corners and pendant lighting. The soft greys of the restaurant work against the polished black private dining room – the walls here are glass and filled with wine bottles. There’s a lot going on compared to the minimalistic bar, but it works. It’s not understated, it’s bold
What We Ate: If you’re feeling particularly hungry then get one of each of the three empanadas to start – you have to order a minimum of two anyway and three, after all, is the magic number. The beef empanada is sweetened with red peppers and raisins; whilst a smoked ham hock offering has the winning addition of mozzarella and finally sweetcorn and chive is mixed with subtle, smoky Provolone. Besides the empanada, there’s an excellent potted salt beef, garnished with horseradish and thyme. You’ll want to get a big scoop on the sourdough toast and top it with the caramelised onion chutney, that’s the winner.
If you don’t know your ribeye from your sirloin, then they’ll bring over the cuts of meat on a board and explain each one. If you like a bit of fat on your steak then go for the chorizo (sirloin) – big on flavour and with a strip of crackling on the outside. It’s also covered with a marinade of garlic, parsley and olive oil. Looking for leaner? Then you’ll want the lomo (fillet). Sides are more than just chips, although if you want to keep it classic then you’ve got both thin and fat chips. You’ll want the fat chips and they really are chunky and fluffy inside. Broccoli was perked up with salsa verde and flaked almonds, whilst cauliflower cheese came as a whole roasted cauliflower with parmesan cream. It certainly looked impressive, but it needed to be punchier, it didn’t leave us feeling giddy.
For pudding, you’ll need to try the dulce de leche cheesecake – hot salted dulce de leche served with a lick of toasted marshmallow. It’s intense, wrapping you up in its sweetness, but, heck is it good. Coconut fans then your name is written all over the coconut tres leches, – a soaked coconut sponge topped with a mound of whipped cream dulce de leche and pecans and surprisingly lighter than it looks.
What We Drank: Doing away with the idea that you can only drink red wine with steak we went for a bottle of the 2015 Probeta, Torrontes which comes from Cafayate a town which is a four hour drive from the city of Salta. The grapes are picked early, resulting in a light wine with hints of lemon peel, elderflower and tangerine – perfect for summer, even if it was raining like it was the end of the world outside.
Go With: Gaucho’s thing is steak; steak and Argentinian wine, so this isn’t one for you vegetarian friends or those who aren’t going to be drinking.
Final Word: Gaucho has it sorted, a confident menu, decadent puddings, perfectly cooked steaks and a slick setting.
Gaucho Broadgate: 5 Finsbury Avenue, Broadgate, EC2M 2PG