Monday, 13 September 2010
Gaucho Grill, Piccadilly, 25 Swallow Street, London W1B 4QR
A few weeks back, we were walking down Regent Street when I saw the cow patches decor of Gaucho’s in the side street, so I hopped up to the restaurant, walked in as though I was a diner, looked around and then came out again. Just to kinda check out what the place looked like, seeing as I’d never been in there before.
Then, on my birthday, the bf decided to take me for a surprise dinner to the very same Gaucho’s, so this time, I didn’t have to pretend that I was going into the place. Once we got into the restaurant, the first thing we did was stop for a bit. Walking in from the bright evening to the almost pitch black darkness of the reception area (and the whole restaurant), I felt slightly disorientated, and had a hard time trying to focus on the lady who was asking us for the booking reference.
That done, the nice lady offered to take our coats, and that’s when we knew this was an expensive sorta place. Now, digressing slightly from the dining experience, I just wanted to give my worthless opinion on the layout of the restaurant. The entire ground floor of the restaurant was dedicated almost to reception (and perhaps some background area which we didn’t see). They could fit so much more diners if they used the area, but perhaps that’s my quantity-over-quality flaw coming out again.
(Cow skin and leather-style decor does actually work in making me want steak … )
After being shown to the table (right by the grill where the pieces of meat were just dancing tantalisingly at us), the nice waiter (Daniel) brought us a heavy plate of bread (the plate was heavy, not the bread). The little balls on the right were bread of unidentifiable origins, and even though they were awfully hard to eat (not with fingers, nor with bread knife), once we got into the middle of the bread, it was awesome.
The bread has little chewy, caramelisey bits which went really well with the olive oil, herb and chilli mixture served up with the bread.
Daniel then brought us the menu while we chewed on the bread, and while I contemplated the prices on the menu, the free bread tasted better by the minute. On average, a piece of cow meat (of very high quality), is about 25 squiggly quid (or £25) and that’s for the smaller, bottom-of-the-range ones.
The famed meat-tray which I heard lots about from other people who’d dined here before. Writing this now, I can’t really remember which one is what, but I went for the fillet steak (small portion) and the bf went for the fillet steak (big portion).
We were sat next to the kitchen so I kept sneaking looks at the plates being brought out of the place, and by the time we got our food, I’d been watching these 2 guys debate the best way to cut the meat for about 10 minutes. That a lotta time spent discussing how to cut meat up, but hey, I guess that’s why they do it so well here.
The Goldilocks scale of steak – here is the little one for me. Yes, that was the only thing on the plate – the sides are served … on the side. Now it may LOOK small, but it sure didn’t taste small. It took me a good twenty minutes to make my way through this lean, beautiful piece of steak, and I felt satisfyingly full and proteined up by the time I’d eaten it all.
The Mr. Big of the steak world. That was a chunk of steak and a half. I don’t really know how the bf managed to devour his way through that massive piece of pure meat, but he did, and he enjoyed every bite of it.
The meat was very fresh, and as we’d asked for it rare, each piece was tender, pink, and so meaty.
For the sides, we decided to stick with Tried and Tested, otherwise known as Fries. Someone said that the fries here are coated in some spice or something, and while we couldn’t figure out what that was, it tasted sweet and very delicious, definitely better than a lot of other fries we’ve had.
After the meal, we brisk-walked over to the theatre for Les Mis (one of London’s finest musicals, but probably not one of the cheeriest). Had a great time there, and was particularly amused when half the audience left the theatre during half-time (or whatever it’s called) and didn’t come back, as the curtains just kinda went down, the lights came on, and no one announced the fact that it was the interval, so these people thought that the play had come to an end, and just left.
Then, after all that food and music, what better way to round it up than with some posh-nosh-chocs. Really lovely, enjoyed it all, and despite this being a kinda few months delayed (the post, that is), thanks to the bf for a very enjoyable b’day dinner and night out.