Please note, La Pampa Grill is now closed. Time Out Food & Drink editors, April 2016.
Aiming at rustic allure and (sort of) urban cool, Pampa Grill manages to miss both – although soft lighting and candles make it a fair choice for a date. First-daters, however, should avoid or share the aubergine starter, which tasted mainly of garlic. Like the decor, the rest of the meal was pleasant yet unconvincing. Bread and butter appears automatically, but is charged for (£1.95). Our steak was delicious, though cooked longer than wanted and not as tender as we expected from an Argentina-themed steakhouse. Grilled chicken breast was tasty and generously portioned, unlike the accompanying vegetables. La Pampa’s pièce de résistance may well be the chunks of potato it serves as chips: crackling on the outside, with a melt-in-the-mouth interior. Desserts include light and subtly lemon-flavoured pancakes, and a fresh, floppy crème caramel. A decent, extensive wine list offers moderately priced regional classics and a couple of big-budget choices. Our waiter was friendly and attentive (although we sat outside, he made sure we were looked after), but the bar-woman seemed grumpy and hostile. Tellingly, on a Thursday night there were 20-plus empty seats.