Santa Maria Del Sur 1

129 Queenstown Road , London, SW8 3RH

SquareMeal Review of Santa Maria Del Sur

Pictures of bulls on the walls and an enormous griddle by the front window (loaded up with “great steaks”) spell out the raison d’être of this red-blooded “family-friendly” restaurant – don’t bring a veggie on a date here. But for meat lovers, this venue is heaven: Argentinian steaks are indubitably the real deal, and at Santa Maria del Sur they are cooked by experts. We’d suggest ignoring other dishes on the menu; the fish and meat-free choices certainly seem paltry by comparison. Kick off with meatballs, chicken empanadas or mollejas (sweetbreads with lemon), and then move directly to the main attraction. You’re unlikely to need another meal for 24 hours after one of their lean, juicy steaks and a portion of perfectly cooked chips – plus some grilled red peppers for good measure. Spectacularly beefy Argentinian red makes the ideal accompaniment from a suitably macho list. This place “always delivers”, says one regular.

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Nearby Tube/Rail Stations

Queenstown Road (Battersea) Station 401m

Wandsworth Road Station 916m

Address

Address: 129 Queenstown Road , London SW8 3RH

Area: South Lambeth Nine Elms

Opening times

Mon-Sun 12N-3pm 6-10pm

Nearby Landmarks

Battersea Park 954m

Clapham Common 985m

Details

Telephone: 020 7622 2088

Website:

Cuisine: Argentinian Steak

7.3

Food & Drink: 7.5

Service: 7.1

Atmosphere: 7.2

Value: 7.2

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

Fiona M. 05 April 2014

Santa Maria is one of our local restaurants and I've held off going for a special occasion so we went tonight to celebrate a new job. Sadly our experience was not great and we left feeling disappointed and like we'd spent a lot on an unimpressive meal. The stand out parts of our meal were the salsa criolla and the smoked red pepper. We ordered chips – steak and chips being a winning combination – but they were overly large, under cooked and no better than what I can create myself at home. The steaks – the main feature of the meal – were perfectly good but didn't stand out for me or my partner, which was a real pity. The service was the real downer for us. It felt like no effort was made to put us at ease or help us answer questions about the menu. When we asked for an aperitif that wasn't available, there was no suggestion of what else might be unavailable ("we've only got the mojito" was the exact phrase), and no alternatives were suggested despite asking for help. We felt rushed and like we were in the way. We're big fans of London steak restaurants but sadly can't recommend our local. Back to Hawksmoor Air Street for us.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 5.0

Ru L. 04 February 2014

We've been going to Santa Maria del Sur for years (I'd even consider it one of the reasons we bought a house on the same street…). We've also spent a lot of time over the years in Argentina. This is the best Argentine steak in London – the only place I'd ever feel comfortable (insist) in London on taking a doggy bag if there was any steak left over – simply sublimely tender the next day…although it's clearly a fail if you don't finish! Don't come here if you're expecting a wildly varied menu or don't want to eat steak. You come here for outstanding rare, tender and huge slabs of steak for a reasonable price – pound for pound the best value for money steak in London. With your steak you order 3/4 other things – nothing more: sweetbreads (if you're REALLY hungry), chunky garlic chips, rocket and garlic salad, cheesy mushrooms and a bottle of the house malbec. This is a great simple meal to enjoy with friends. If you've got the appetite of a giant, ask for some dulce de leche cheese cake. Then carry your stomach home. The other meats also look great, especially the sausage. But we've never got past the steak… Service is very friendly and hispanic. Atmosphere is usually bubbly as the place is rarely less than crammed. If you like steak, you need to go here. The 137 bus stops right outside.

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 1.0

MrsBee 14 August 2013

We went to the original Hackney restaurant many years ago and had a fabulous meal. So, when Santa Maria decided to open a restaurant near us we were thrilled – especially my meat-ophile husband! We've visited a few times over the years and each visit has been more disappointing than the last – the last time we went was July 2012. They seem more intent on making money – and this place isn't cheap – than providing good food, service and a relaxing atmosphere in which to enjoy your meal. The extras that made this place special have slowly disappeared over the years. For example, decent veggie options, unlimited chimichurri and time to enjoy and digest your food. Overall, disappointing – we won't go back.

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 0.0

Julian H. 04 January 2012

This is only the 2nd time to this restaurant and it will be the last. There were 3 of us on 23/12/11 for a christmas lunch. 2 of us started with sweetbreads. These were undercooked and gloopy. When we complained, we were told they were meant to be like this! They even had the gall to charge us for them. My mixed salad consisted of unfresh lettuce and tomatoes cut in two. Clearly no care was given to either the contents or the preparation of the salad. We complained again and at least we were not charged for this. As it was christmas we stayed on and ordered further bottles of wine. Just before 5.00, when there were no other customers, we were told they were closing and we had to go. Closing at 5.00 on the last business day before christmas? I dont think so. I stress, that whilst merry, we were perfectly well behaved. The staff had laid up the tables for the evening and obviously could not be bothered any longer, despite the fact that we were spending good money. A very poor experience overall

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Mogs83 20 July 2011

I went here for lunch the other day and was blown away! We were the only people in there due to the time of day, hence the slightly lower score for atmosphere, although one of my fellow diners assured me that in the evenings it's fantastic. Every part of the meal was wonderful, the bread rolls to start with came with this delicious blue cheese butter. For my main I had a breaded steak fillet with garlic and parsley chips which i'd highly recommend (i think it may only be on the lunch menu having looked at their website) followed by a wonderful Argentine coffee. I also pinched a bit of my friends dessert, which was ice cream and nuts – just too good to describe!Seriously – I live in east London, but i'd travel to Battersea for another meal here any day. I'm keen to give it a try in the evenings. Brilliant place. Oh and the service was excellent too!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

CrumpEats H. 21 February 2011

When I first moved to Battersea, my housemate gave me the tour of the local area. What began as a long list of fabulous places to explore, shortened pretty abruptly when we went past the restaurant Santa Maria Del Sur. We were both glued to the window, gawping at the fat juicy steak chargrilling on the open grill, or parilla as they're called in South America and the handsome Latino chef casually flipping them over. Said chef looked slightly amused by us, gave us a cheeky smile and ushered us in. Sold. The phenomenal steak restaurant that is Santa Maria Del Sur, an Argentinian restaurant run entirely by Argentinians that specialises in flame grilled meat and hearty red wines. The restaurant won Gordon Ramseys F-word last year, just after the first time I went. The F-word gives awards to local eats who offer their clientele something different, special and grounded. This restaurant is exactly that. It offers a fantastic experience built around delicious simply cooked food, the trick being that everything on offer isn't played with. The ingredients are top quality and stand our for themselves, sometime enhanced with some fresh parsley, a slither of red pepper or a simple tomato and coriander salsa. The steak was (on both occasions) probably the best I've eaten. I've been to Argentina and apart from the prices and not being offered it by a gaucho in a poncho, the quality and freshness is comparable. The fillet was thick, smooth, smoky and rich and cut like velvet. The inside was pink and juicy whilst the outside remained slightly cripsy and caramelised. Each slice encouraged more and more salty and meaty juice to come trickling out, the perfect accompaniment to triple cooked crispy chips. To start, there was chorizo, firey and crumbly and empanadas, deep fried pastry parcels filled with spiced spinach and ricotta, fresh and fragrant. This was all set in warm candlelight washed down with top-class full bodied red wine from Malbec. The meal for two came to £70 for two starters, fillet steaks (only £18 each) with chips and a side salad that we really didn't need..I always try to sneak some green into my meals..and a bottle of wine. Only thing is we had to book a table 2 months in advance for my second visit.. The F-word may have not changed the quality, but sure has upped its popularity so always book in advance. Santa Maria Del Sur Queenstown Road, Battersea, SW8.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Miss Cherry Pie bronze reviewer 13 December 2010

A fantastic restaurant. We went on Monday night and enjoyed being seranaded by a very accomplished guitarist, whose voice transported us to Argentina. The staff were helpful throughout our meal, particularly when deciding what dishes to try. I had the Provoletta to start, followed by Sirloin steak accompanied with chips, butter beans and chorizo. My manfriend had the Rib eye steak with the same accompaniemnts, and both of us were blown away by our meals. So we only just had room to share a dolce late ice cream for dessert. A fantastic meal and evening, I will definitely be going back.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Pauline M. 11 November 2010

I’ve just seen Gerado’s response to previous comments and wanted to add something of my own to it. In August I wanted to fit around thirty of my friends into Santa Maria, which is not a large restaurant, so I booked up four or five tables for various time slots, all around the 6pm mark. I then went in and spoke to a very helpful man, who I remember now was called Gerardo, and explained that although it would be very inconvenient for them I hoped that they might be able to accommodate my friends and I all together, at the same time. Despite our bookings initially being spread all over the restaurant, and my making it clear that we would still take the tables whether or not they were together, Gerardo and his staff went out of their way to accommodate us, and the thirty of us had the most incredible meal I’ve enjoyed in London. We never felt rushed, and I certainly wasn’t made to feel awkward for making such demands of them, and would have been happy enough with the service that even if the food hadn’t been absolutely phenomenal, which it was (no mean feat with over thirty different steaks to be served simultaneously), I still would have had nothing but praise for this restaurant. Bearing in mind that I only booked my table after the restaurant appeared on the F Word, and that Gerardo knew we would take the tables whether they were together or not, I cannot understand anybody saying that Santa Maria does not care about its customers. I’ve since been back to the restaurant in a smaller group, and the food and service were exceptional, so I’m going again in a few weeks. Keep up the good work, Santa Maria.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Santa M. 19 July 2010

Dear Sir , Madam. My name is Gerardo and I am the manager of Santa Maria del Sur. I write this in response to some of the reviews I’ve read recently in several sites (some of them are, in reality, the same review, posted under different names in different sites) For those of you who wrote those fantastic emails and words of encouragement and compliments; a huge thank you. Unfortunately, bad reviews sound louder, so I am mainly writing to those whose reviews weren’t what we hoped for, and for those who are thinking of coming to visit us and upon reading these reviews, are thinking “ Oh dear..it doesn’t sound good”. First of all, I am really truly sorry if your experience at Santa Maria was not what you expected. I could sit here and write a defense of my restaurant but you’ve got your views and I, of course, respect that. Some of the points made are valid and help us get better, and on others I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. However, there’s one particular comment which I read and I will 100 % refute and it’s what prompted me to write this. The success some people refer to, has not gone to our heads and we care greatly about our customers and their comments, particularly if they are not good. We are not a fancy restaurant or a flash, pretentious venue in the West End. We are a local restaurant in Battersea. That’s how we started and that’s the way we like it and how we’ll remain. Success or not success. Therefore, our customers and neighbors are all we have. New and existing ones; and them leaving happy is all we care about. Since December last year when we appeared on the F Word, we’ve seen a dramatic surge in the amount of customers we cater for. Our business changed and the way we used to do things had to change. It’s possible that somewhere along the way we made mistakes, or that on a given night, things didn’t go according to plan. When that happens, our customers have the right to be upset, but I can assure you, so are we. But while the way we did business had to change, one thing remains intact: the quality of our products and having our customers’ satisfaction as our main and foremost priority. Of that I give you my word. So I can’t change the way some of you feel about us and your visit, and I can’t change if something went wrong that day or if things weren’t done as they should be, but what I can do, is assure you that your comments have been noted and there’s always room for improvement, so we listen. But we also believe in Santa Maria and what we are, so I felt I had to say something and show you how much we care. We are not short-sighted and we don’t think (quote) “there are enough people who will keep coming”. Nothing further from the truth. Instead, we are always working hard to make sure our standards not only don’t drop, but that we raise the bar. With best regards Gerardo Tejo Manager Santa Maria del Sur

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Tessa E. 18 June 2010

I am so happy to eat fantastic Argentinian steak! I lived in Buenos Aires for a while and they are the best steak people in the world. I will be going on a regular basis as its nearby and the food is excellent. the steak melted in my mouth and the butter beans side dish was enough for me to be satisfied, simply delicious I will be taking all my friends.