Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my kitchen at home. And I love my griddle pan. But, I just cannot cook the perfect steak, the problem is – induction. Induction hobs do not get as high in temperature as gas, so every time I cook steak – it ends up looking a little grey and doesn’t have that charred taste on the outside with the beautiful pinky meat on the inside. So, we never have steak at home – but finally I have been to one of the ‘greats’ of the London Steak restaurant scene. Gaucho.
We were taking the boyfriend’s parents out for dinner and we decided to go for a real treat, so we emptied the overflowing ‘change pot’ that we’ve been putting change into for a year or so and booked a table at the Gaucho. Upon walking into Gaucho, Swallow Street, you feel your eyes begin to adjust to the almost pitch black of the interior. Black carpet, black furnishings and low lighting made me feel slightly like I’d walked into ‘Dans le Noir’. We sat ourselves down in the bar and ordered a cocktail. Halfway through the bar was full and we were asked if we wanted to move up to our table.
We were seated at our table which was teeny and not in the greatest position in the room, but then I imagine that is the luck of the draw. Greg – our hugely enthusiastic waiter – welcomed us and talked us through the menu and wine list, then brought us a board of raw steaks so we could see what was what.
We went for 2 starters between us, a yellow fin tuna Carpaccio (I think) with some sun-dried tomatoes that had been mixed with smoked paprika. This dish would have been utterly divine had it not been for the smoked paprika which totally over-powered the tuna which I imagine would have tasted spectacular with on its own. We also went for a King Scallop Tiraditos which was lovely. It was soft and succulent with a little kick from the chilli and the sesame seeds. The avocado was a touch that I don’t think was needed but didn’t damage the dish.
Right, main course. Two sirloins, one rib eye and a medallion or two. Four Béarnaise sauces, three portions of chips, purple sprouting broccoli and some spinach. Wow! A lotta food and not a lotta space to put it on the table – because of course – as with many steak restaurants now you get everything on a separate dish. and the the HUGE juicy steak on your plate. Non-the-less the steak was divine, perfectly cooked (as it should be in a steak restaurant) with a beautiful taste. The meat was just melt in the mouth. The
chips were divine and the béarnaise was as it should be.
The restaurant was full all evening. Greg, the waiter was wonderfully enthusiastic without being annoying – he was hugely helpful with the wine list and helped me pick out some real beauts (and provided me with cards telling me what I’d ordered – in case I wanted to go and buy them from the Gaucho shop (for a fraction of the price, I might add)).
The bill was steep but not (apparently) over what the boyfriend expected, it really is a spoiling dinner for 4, but that is what we had gone there for. There is only one thing that would put me off going back – the table size; the dark I can deal with, the table being by the service door I can handle but I did have a small OCD moment when I couldn’t put the wine on the table because there was literally no room.