Gaucho is old news for other UK cities like Manchester, Edinburgh and Birmingham but for Liverpool, it’s hot off the press - sizzlin’, in fact. The esteemed Argentine eatery opened its doors on Water Street in November 2022 and has fast become one of the most sought-after spots. We turned up to our table for two on a late Sunday afternoon, elasticated waistbands at the ready and designated driver on speed dial (this is a wine list not to be missed).
Stepping inside, we saw that this is the kind of restaurant where decor is a whole thing and an instrumental part of the experience. Each Gaucho has its own aesthetic personality, Liverpool’s situated in a Grade II-listed building steeped in history, once home to the Bank of England. This venue had a glamorous Gringotts vibe about it with a generous pinch of Gatsby; ambient lighting, plush velvet, boutique prints, tassels, twinkles - decadence, darling. The sprawling space featured ultra-high ceilings, while being subtly segmented into a bar lounge area, the main restaurant and some private dining nooks. One of my favourite interior features and an element that tied it all together was the original red marble pillars, which pay homage to the venue’s heritage but also look uncannily like marbled meat. Or perhaps I was just really hungry at that point…
We tucked ourselves in at our table and got straight down to business with the wine list. From the extensive repertoire of reds, whites, roses and bubbles, we landed on a bottle of Viña Patricia D’Oro (£85) from Gaucho’s own vineyard in Mendoza. This was easily the smoothest Malbec I’ve ever tasted, recommended to us by our knowledgable host who seemed to know every single serve on the menu like the back of his hand. Our bottle was left to breathe in the decanter for a while as they talked us through the various cuts of meat. This is done show-and-tell style, thanks to a board of raw steak slabs presented at your table and expertly introduced one by one. A nice interactive touch, I thought, but perhaps not for the fainthearted.
After digesting the a la carte options, we settled on the seared diver scallops (£19) with nduja butter, augachilli verde and lemon crumb, as well as some wagyu beef empanadas (£6.25 each) to start. My partner in dining boldly dubbed the trio of golden scallops on their zingy bed of vibrant accompaniments “the best scallops [he had] ever eaten” - say no more. My empanadas were a triumph too, packed with tender mince beef and fiery flavours, alongside an indulgent spiced mayonnaise I couldn’t get enough of.
Up next: mains. Firstly, the churrasco de chorizo (from £35) - a spiral cut specialty steak marinated for 24 hours in olive oil, garlic and parsley. This was paired with a bowl of thyme-salted chips (£6) and peppercorn sauce (£4). The steak was real melt in your mouth, could-cut-it-with-a-butter-knife magic, seasoned to perfection and cooked precisely to order. All chips and sauce were true elevated examples of comfort classics, a sentiment echoed in my fine example of a Sunday roast (£26).
On the Gaucho roast menu is sirloin of beef, which I chose to have cooked medium and that’s exactly how it arrived, with all the trimmings to boot: crunchy roast potatoes, heritage carrots, fine green beans, bubbling cauliflower cheese, unlimited beef dripping Yorkshire puddings and rich red wine gravy on tap. I couldn’t fault a thing about it. Chef’s kiss. We did also share an extra side of humita (£6.50) - a traditional Native South American dish made from creamed corn, whipped cheese and chilli oil - which turned out to be one of the stars of the show.
The starters, mains and sides at Gaucho are so great that I’d recommend indulging here rather than saving space for dessert. We shared tastes of the Don Pedro (£9.50) - whipped ice cream served alongside liquor and walnuts - the apple pancake (£7) with calvados, Nutella and dulce mousse, and the sticky apple and date pudding (£7.50). All were perfectly pleasant, but perhaps not quite worthy of the upscale price tag the rest of the menu easily justifies. My advice? Have one for the road from the cocktail list instead.
The DesignMyNight Digest
If you’re searching for a restaurant where the decor, drinks and dining experience are delicious in equal parts, look no further than Gaucho Liverpool. The price point is undeniably extravagant but for special occasions, it’s absolutely worth it. You’re guaranteed to enjoy quality ingredients, exceptional cooking, luxurious ambience and the company of knowledgeable hosts who give you just the right amount of attention.
💰 The damage: £180 for a meal with drinks for two, including service charge.
📍 The location: 7 Water Street, L2 0RD
👌 Perfect for: A restaurant experience to remember.
⭐ Need to know: You can also dine at the intimate Beef Bar counter experience, exclusive to Gaucho Liverpool and Charlotte Street.
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