The flagship branch of Argentinian steakhouse Gaucho is tucked away off Regent Street in a serene spot. Inside, everything is pristine. There are suave black wooden tables, Modernist-style chairs, and a huge decorative mirror across one wall. Swiftly after being seated, a waiter arrived with a wooden board topped with slabs of uncooked ‘display’ steak, and delivered a podcast-worthy description of the different cuts on offer (spoiler: all of them are from Argentina).
A plate of tuna sashimi came with a thwack of ginger and a sharp hit of spring onion, which was nicely balanced by the salty soy sauce on top. A dish of molten provoleta – an Argentinian cheese – was satisfyingly gooey, with a drizzling of honey adding a welcome sweetness.
The steaks were dazzling: the sirloin was delicious, with the meat juices flowing readily over the plate at the press of a fork. The colita de lomo, meanwhile, was enviably tender, and the meat was slathered in heavenly quantities of garlic and olive oil.
Desserts, too, were superb. The cheesecake, garnished with a splodge of sticky toasted marshmallow, was sweet and decadent. The Don Pedro – whipped up Argentinian ice cream with walnuts, and finished with a splash of whiskey – was delightfully creamy.
A side of spinach was a tad too salty and the twice-cooked chips were slightly soggy. But I’m nit-picking; spotting this restaurant’s flaws is hard. Plus, the service here is tremendous, with waiters regularly swooping in to top up wine or to remind you of hot crockery. Even before I arrived, a friendly receptionist had left me a voicemail asking about any allergies or dietary requirements. With food and service like that, Gaucho’s still steak-world royalty.