When you think ‘steak,’ chances are Gaucho is one of the first names on the tip of your tongue. A staple across the UK, the brand fronts restaurants as close as Liverpool, all the way to Glasgow and London, with a Newcastle newbie soon bringing the group to almost 20 sites. And when I realised that my steak-loving husband had never been to one of these iconic spots? I had to show him the ropes.
If you’ve visited to Gaucho before, I'm sure that sizzling steaks and cowhide prints come to mind. We found exactly that on our first trip to the Deansgate branch, with fairy lights, Perspex chandeliers and a whole lot of black tones; almost a little jarring at first. Cleansing our palettes at the cocktail lounge, my husband and I started with a couple of drinks. For me, it was the rum honey (£12.50) – a mix of Eminente Reserva rum, Ron Zapaca rum, Hennesy VS cognac, black walnut and honey, which arrived in a pre-chilled bottle, and was then poured over ice. The walnut was too overpowering for me, but the other half enjoyed it. So much so, that I nabbed his tequila-fuelled Argentinian Siesta (£10.50); think margarita meets Paloma, mellowed by a hint of passionfruit and finished with a punchy chilli salt rim for an added kick.
Heading across to our booth in the main restaurant, we passed dates, groups and families all tucking in. It’s easy to see why the place is so busy, with waiters who really know their stuff. Ours brought us a board of steaks as we perused the menu, taking us through each cut in detail from flavour to fat. With wine suggestions for each course, we let him take the lead.
Seared scallops (£20) were beautifully delicate, and rested on a herby Aguachilli verde sauce with a crunchy lemon crumb topping; while ceviche (£13) deviated from the usual cold plate to combine cooked shrimp with a spicy, red tomato salsa. Completing the mouthwatering warmup act was a trio of empanadas (£6.25) - with beef, sweet potato and provolone, or chicken and chorizo to choose from… we split one of each and were not disappointed.
Now Gaucho isn’t only known for their steaks, the wine is also a specialty here. We tried a couple, with the Viña Patricia (£19 per glass, £76 per bottle) – an exclusive Malbec that the company makes themselves in Mendoza – proving to be a gorgeous favourite. Together with a marbled ribeye (from £36) marinated in chimichurri, and a slab of sirloin (from £31) so tender within and perfectly charred on the outside, this was a faultless meal. Snaps to our waiter.
The DesignMyNight Digest
No matter if you’re a steak connoisseur or just fancy a good meal, Gaucho won’t disappoint. You’re guaranteed quality dishes and staff who will guide you every step of the way. It might not be cheap, but it's one for all those romantic date night meals, brunches with mates, and special occasions, for sure.
💰 The damage: £180 for a meal with drinks for two.
📍 The location: 2A St Mary's Street, Deansgate.
👌 Perfect for: a quality meal.
⭐ Need to know: Gaucho Manchester also hosts a bottomless brunch and Sunday roast come the weekend.
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