With its cowhide-and-bling interiors, sleek service, expense-account pricing and reputation for out-of-this-world meat, there was a touch of shock and awe about the Gaucho chain’s rapid expansion across the capital. But with the acclaimed Goodman and Hawksmoor steakhouses more recently championing US and UK cattle, Londoners no longer buy quite so readily into the Argie steak legend. Certainly, our most recent visit had shortcomings. That we ordered bife de chorizo (sirloin) medium rare and it arrived with barely a trace of pink was only one failing: it simply didn’t have the expected depths of flavour. Argentinian classics such as chorizo sausage and grilled provolone cheese feature among the starters, but there’s plenty of ceviche too. A smart move: the citrus-cooked fish (more associated with Peru or Ecudaor) offers a light foil to the beef-heavy mains section. A shrimp causita was fresh and zingy, but lacked the kick our waiter said the leche de tigre (‘tiger’s milk’ – ceviche marinade) would bring. Chips were adequate, but a mixed salad was oversalted, with under-ripe tomatoes and none of the promised olives. The exclusively Argentinian wine list includes a ‘fine and rare’ section, but even the regular list will make you gasp at the prices – the cheapest bottles nudge £30. Gaucho needs to woo us all over again.
|Venue name:||Gaucho Smithfield||Contact:|
93A Charterhouse Street
|Opening hours:||Meals served noon-11pm Mon-Sat|
|Transport:||Tube: Barbican tube or Farringdon tube/rail|
|Price:||Main courses £15.50-£96.60|
|Do you own this business?|
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Average User Rating
4 / 5
- 5 star:2
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:2
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
Excellent service and great food. My steak was cooked to perfection although my wife's was slightly over. A very nice experience but not without it's bad points. Pricing the meat by weight seems a little miserly at this level, I am paying for the service & knowledge, not the produce (at least I thought that beforehand!), I was still hungry afterwards. Side dishes were average and overpriced, we had roast mushrooms and cauliflower cheese. Wine choice was huge.
As someone who genuinely enjoys good steaks, I have tried out many of the better steak restaurants in London, including most of the Gaucho chain. I have also had the pleasure of enjoying some excellent steaks in Argentina. So what of Gaucho Smithfield. Well, I have been to one or two places where I have had a better steak, but they are truly the exception, and on a second visit to one of these restaurants I was horribly disappointed. Quality and consistency is where Gaucho really delivers compared to many other steak specialists. I have used this Smithfield branch often, and have never had a steak that was less than excellent. My husband and I like our steaks cooked differently, and this is one of the few restaurants where we both get what we want, every time. The Argentine wines are also excellent and the staff genuinely seem to relish providing an outstanding service and ensuring that you enjoy your whole dining experience. So why not five stars? Well, the prices are steep, even if they may be justified, the bathrooms are always just that bit too dark, and personally the music at Smithfield could be a little more relaxed. But they are minor gripes. This is a firm favourite for me.