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|Address:||93a Charterhouse Street, London EC1M 6HL|
|Tel:||020 3551 2816|
|Price: £56.00||Wine: £29.50||Champagne: £70.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 11.30am-11pm|
This review hasn't been rated yet.
Gaucho Smithfield is a bit of a puzzle: I should like it, I eat there in preference to the top floor at Smiths (which I consider uninspired and vastly overpriced), but I can't say I truly rate it.
The decor is discrete/opulent which is fine for City lunches (though at the moment the City seems very depressed and the traffic volumes are hardly ever what the “used to be”). The service is very attentive and the Brazilian waitresses there are especially pleasant. The little cheese rolls served with the bread really hit the spot when they are served hot (send them back if they are not !).
The food is the closest to delivering “what it says on the tin” that one could ask for…BUT:
1. The starters are always mean even though they deliver the taste and quality (I love palm hearts, for instance);
2. The steaks always look like they are the the smaller sibblings of the ones shown on the board they bring round – the cooked weight is a fraction of the alleged uncooked weight so NEVER order the smallest size; and
3. The sides are also mean.
Saving grace: the wine ! Though you can pay well over the odds here, Argentinian reds can be simply wonderful. Try the wines listed at the back of the red selection which are exclusive to Gaucho – the Malbec blends are seriously good. A friend who lives in the far East took me there for lunch when he was in London recently, and asked me to pick any wine (he owed me a favour): I picked the most expensive of these exclusive wines (52 quid, I think) and he agreed it was worth every penny !
Another plus: the tables are not close together so conversations are unlikely to be overheard.
I can't help thinking that this could easiy be a place I really look forward to visiting, so come on the management, please think about the comments above and do something, you are nearly there.