Santa Maria is all about the steak – Argentinian, of course. Which sounds good for a place that prides itself on its parrilla skills, but not when almost everything except the beef was a disappointment. A starter of sweetbreads had the vinegary taste of jarred garlic and a damp, crumbly texture, while sardines on toast was no more than the sum of its parts. Except for some decent, volcanically hot chips, the sides and accompaniments also missed the mark: a green salad was wilting and undressed; chimichurri was a clot of dried herbs suspended in oil and vinegar; bread rolls were boring. And yet our steaks were flavour bombs just waiting to go off. The house red (a 2010 malbec, the dominant grape on the list) was a good match. The combination of raw brick and warm-toned wood gives the place a stylishly robust look, and it’s roomy too – a good thing, because it’s often full. The first-class steaks are no doubt what draws the punters, but co-owner Alberto Abbate can’t plead ignorance of matters non-beef – he has also had a hand in Argentinian joints Zoilo and Casa Malevo, where they really know how to make the whole menu work.
|Venue name:||Santa Maria del Sur|
129 Queenstown Road
|Opening hours:||Lunch served noon-3pm, dinner served 6-10pm daily|
|Transport:||Tube: Queenstown Road rail|
|Price:||Main courses £19-£25|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.3 / 5
- 5 star:6
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:1
I find that story hard to believe , myself and my husband along with many friends frequent this restaurant on a regular basis. I have yet to have an evening where the food and hospitality has been nothing short of 100%. This is an excellent steakhouse, highly recommended.
Great steakhouse - a little piece of Argentina in London! Food is delicious and good value for money. A fun lively atmosphere as well, definitely worth repeat visits :-)
I hope the manager still reads these reviews, as there is one post from him from 2010. Me and my family have been customers at SMDS for about 5 years. Before the Fword show. We've always enjoyed the quality of the food atmosphere and service. On every single visit we've ordered the Deluxe platter and have always left with our little carry bag. Yesterday we went after a few months from our last visit. Unfortunately it was very disappointing. SERVICE We were surprised at finding an empty restaurant, when on plenty of occasions we haven't been able to book a table in time. However there were plenty of staff on duty, most of which were crammed behind the counter chit chatting. Apart from the two attending waiters, the manager seemed careless in doing the rounds and creating that warm atmosphere which they pride themselves of. Also not very welcoming was the spanish speaker waiter, who insisted in replying to us in English (We are Spanish speakers). No chimichurri offered (is that a cut back?). Not even sweets with the bill. FOOD On all our visits we've ordered the deluxe platter. Yesterday's was not even the shadow of what it used to be. Smaller portions in general (no carry bag on the way out), dry and bad tasting sausages, bland meat, the provolone was just a liquid boiling mess. Definitely not a bad day in the kitchen, but a cut back in the quality of the ingredients and in their preparation. Not one item on the platter met the previous standard. And to top it off the final bill was a good £40 over what we've regularly paid. Wouldn't complain if I had walked away a satisfied customer, but paying £12 for service charge, for a bad service is ludicrous. It is sad to have to write this review, when I never wrote a positive one on previous occasions, but it angers me that back in 2010, similar reviews have been posted here (which the managers dismisses as copy pastes?) and he took the time to reply to, but essentially didn't really take notice in them. Different manager? These are probably harder times for a restaurant and you either reinvent yourself or you keep up that quality to survive. The worst thing you can do is cheat your loyal customers. Unfortunately there is one less good restaurant in my area. Chris
ate here on saturday night, was a magnificent steak (sirloin), beef carpaccio for an entree was superb, the £19 Malbec top notch, chips, sauce,salad brilliant. thoroughly enjoyed the evening, service was pleasant, maybe a tad dopey but the real star was the steak- world class!
I loved the atmosphere. Very friendly service and steaks are superb. Maybe one of the best steaks I had in my life. I highly recommend it.