Gaucho’s re-opening of their Charlotte Street restaurant marks a new era for the established Argentinian steakhouse.
The 25th anniversary of the chain comes with a redressing of the loud cowhide plastered walls and plush fittings. The new look is much more understated with nods to Argentina’s rugged landscape through the sand coloured, textured walls and earth-toned colour palette. The overhaul is admirable, but there was something fun about the over-the-top Gaucho of the past, although we appreciate the better lighting.
The beef counter champions the mighty cow in the best ways, as the personal chef experience brings another level of luxe to the already quite sumptuous meat affair.
The meal started off strong with three courses of starters, the cuadril carpaccio was nicely executed and topped with a tangy miso chimichurri that offset the creamy raw meat well. Japanese-Latin fusion, tiraditos, were precisely plated curls of thinly cut lomo with horseradish, watermelon radish, crispy shallots, and an exciting tiger milk– a seemingly eclectic mix of components, but a refreshing and delicious dish. To round off the first course, we had a chorizo steak featuring a foamy palm heart emulsion and a decadent cured duck egg to combine the whole dish – prettily presented and amusing to swirl together to reveal a rich tartare.
The main course felt like a crash course in the different cuts of beef, each progressive cut served with a new sauce over the Josper grill. Adventurous diners can even cook their own steak, but we preferred to let the chef cook ours to medium rare. The spicy fish chimichurri (different to the carpaccio version) was by far the best sauce, although a light-handed sprinkling of salt truly does the meat justice. The meats are wet-aged rather than dry-aged, which results in a much tenderer and juicier steak; we enjoyed the subtle taste, but can easily see how some punters may prefer a more flavourful dry-age.
If you’re looking for an entertaining, casually informative steak dinner, do try out the beef bar, it is a heady festival of meat, and ends on a DIY note as you carve up chunks of Valrhona chocolate.