So Valentine’s Day happened on Friday, a thoroughly brilliant yet incredibly controversial day in which boys are required to spend oodles of money on chocolates, roses and other delightful gifts for girls, to prove that they love them and aren’t just with them for their shiny hair.
Strangely, though, given its incredible opportunities for the receipt of free stuff, many girls protest about the great day of Valentine. They claim they’re not interested in it at all, because it’s just a bunch of commercial rubbish invented by Clinton Cards to keep their staff in branded fleeces. But they are liars. Girls love this shit. I’m a girl, so I would know.
Of a Valentine’s evening it is customary for the gentleman to take his lady out on a date, or stay in and cook a delicious feast for her, usually involving steak. Thankfully mine went with the first option, and off we trotted to Gaucho of Chancery Lane, to eat an entire field’s worth of cow, perched on cowhide chairs which screamed of their indifference to Daisy and her band of unfortunate friends.
We began the meal with cocktails, which proved even more enjoyable because they were FREE (the mean bartender forgot about us and made us sad). The Mojito was completely delicious and wonderful. My choice, though, was the Giovannoni, which was kind of horrible actually. It was made of Ketel One vodka, Torrontés white wine, rosehip jelly, passion fruit and peach purée. But strangely it tasted like yoghurt. Odd.
Before you order food here you’re presented with the Meat Parade, a selection of raw cuts of meat pinned to a plank of wood accompanied by a short speech on the merits of Argentinian beef. This is fantastic. I love to be formally introduced to food before I eat it.
To start we went with the sausage platter, one of the weirdest yet most delicious starters I have encountered in my starter-eating days. It’s a chopping board with four sausages on it. Argentine chorizo, chorizo picante, pinchos and morcilla. No marks for presentation, but taste-wise – great.
Then there were steaks, and they were good. Gaucho’s beef all comes from Argentina. Only cattle that feed on the Pampas of their chosen farms qualify for scoffing at this steakhouse. They’re very expensive, but believe me – they’re worth it.
We both went with rib-eyes, opting for the smaller 300g ones (which were still bloody enormous). I picked Tapa De Ancho, boy picked Bife De Ancho. No idea what the difference is, but both were melt-in-the-mouth wonderfulness.
Our chosen sides were chips with deep-fried thyme and broken potatoes (braised in milk, then fried). Both exceptionally awesome. We also received a surprise house salad for free, which was nice.
As much as we wanted to we really couldn’t stretch to pudding, and were forced to waddle off into the night without trying the creme brûlée. A decision I regret to this day.
The Verdict: One of my new favourite steakhouses. Almost perfect, but pricey…
Gluten Free Friendly? 100%