My boyfriend and I love a good steak restaurant, and we’ve been to quite a few beauts in the last year. But one chain I had yet to try out? Gaucho. And when I heard it was opening in my favourite area (Covent Garden), I jumped at the chance to visit the swanky spot. After seeing succulent steaks and gorgeous sides on Instagram, my mouth was already watering – did it live up to my expectations though? The steaks were high.
Fronting two floors and a stunning bar area, the venue’s interiors did not disappoint. I slid into a red booth while my other half settled into decadent plush seating. To our surprise, there was also entertainment as we gawked at two tango dancers working their way across the restaurant, complete with ambient lighting to set a sultry mood.
We started off with a couple of drinks – I went for the El Nino (£12). Foamy on top, the rum-based tipple blended together coconut, mango and lemon flavours – think a fancier version of a piña colada. Meanwhile, my boyfriend ordered the Highlander (£13) which was a vanilla and cherry drink that highlighted Johnnie Walker Black Label really well.
Next, we gobbled up a few starters. First up were the empanadas – one chicken and chorizo (£6.50) and one wagyu beef (£9). The chicken exuded a salty and smoky taste while the latter fronted an undeniable umami flavour (which is a bit more up my alley). TikTok also recommend the seared diver scallops (£22) – people were saying they were the best they’ve ever had. Each morsel was planted in ‘nduja butter, aguachile verde and topped with a lemon crumb. While the fish was mega fresh, I actually found the sauce to be slightly too acidic. Don’t get me wrong, I still ate every bite. We then opted for a bottle of red to prepare for our steaks and got the La Mascota (£50). Zesty, fruity and originating from the Mascota Vineyards, it was a brilliant choice for dinner.
Before we grabbed our mains, the waiter brought over a platter of steak cuts and explained how each one should be cooked. My boyfriend nabbed the ancho ribeye with peppercorn sauce (£48.50 for 500 grams) while I snagged the tira de ancho (£50.50 for 500 grams). His was marbled throughout and savoury when doused into the sauce; whereas mine was zesty and screamed Argentinian with its fragrant chimichurri. Cooked perfectly medium rare – it was definitely a highlight. As for sides, the creamed mash (£6) was whipped, smooth and oozed butter. But what really surprised me was the chargrilled Caesar salad (£5.50). It evoked a slightly smoky flavour which contrasted the creaminess of the dressing - faultless.
We thought about getting a few desserts but actually settled on a couple of cocktails instead. We both sipped on the la pasion del chocolate (£12) and agreed it missed the mark. Flaunting Belvedere vodka, white chocolate, Passoa, passion fruit and oat milk, it came with a little container of popcorn attached to the glass. The passion fruit and chocolate really clashed here and thought it needed a bit more cocoa to really get that chocolately taste.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Overall, Gaucho is a fabulous restaurant for date nights and anniversaries. With Argentinian steaks, pretty decor and tango dancers, it really does add a bit more flair to the average steakhouse. While a few of the dishes didn’t really meet our expectations, it was overall well worth the money. Plus, its Central London location is very appealing after a long day of shopping.
💰 The damage: Around £250 between two, plus service charge.
📍 The location: 8-9 James Street, WC2H 8BH.
👌 Perfect for: Romantic date nights and post-shopping trips.
⭐ Need to know: Don't know how you like your steak? Ask the super friendly staff for recommendations.
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