I love steak. I will try any kind, from any corner of the globe. So naturally my curiosity perked when I heard that CAU had arrived in Manchester. Now one of seventeen across the UK, I was eager to answer the question: what makes this steak place so popular? A sneaky peak at the menu prior to arrival gave some gesture as to what. Taste buds calling, I headed down the road to my now local CAU (you guessed it; pronounced C-O-W).
Located in the small yet lively suburban village of East Didsbury, I was keen to see how CAU has found its place in a town embracing all things modern and quirky.
Proud in its venture to assume the “vitality, passion and sense of fun” of the vibrant city of Buenos Aries, the decor creates a sense of cosmopolitan sophistication against brilliant splashes of colour. As to be expected from a contemporary steak house, this place is super swanky. With patent white padded seating and monochrome details, grassy feature walls overlooked by a blue skyline; I was in a cow’s world, yet the only cow in sight was on my plate.
The Food & Drink
Sibling to esteemed steak house king, Gaucho, my expectations could not help but be set high.
I managed to resist the temptation of steak overload and opted for the belly of pork tempura (£7.95), delicate pieces of pork coated in light and crispy tempura and served with house own, CAUchup. For the main event, I delved face first into the Asado De Chorizo (400g, £29.95) from the speciality cuts menu; a sirloin steak marinated in smoked paprika, chilli flakes, garlic and parsley. Add to this some chimichurri sauce (£1.50), triple cooked chips (£2.95) and a heap of truffle mac ‘n’ cheese (£2.95), and you’ve got yourself a melt-in-the-mouth-party-on-a-plate.
CAU provides an extensive selection of hand-picked Argentinean wines that they recommend to accompaniment your meal. Also offering regional draft beers and elegant cocktails, I concluded my meal with an elderflower spritz (£6.50) and the chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream (£5.95), filled with a warm gooey chocolate sauce. This was inhaled in one breath – despite my pending self-implosion.
Polished features and shiny furnishings make this place refreshingly bright and suitable for family dining, whilst cosy spaces lit by low hanging lights provide a more intimate setting for a date night. The restaurant maintains a classy contemporary feel whilst mellow moments such as the buzz of families nattering amidst nostalgic 90’s pop classics make this the ideal place to celebrate a special occasion.
CAU claims to have captured the spirit of Buenos Aries in its food and atmosphere; I can’t say I’ve ever been to Buenos Aries, but if CAU is anything to go by I’ll add it to my to-do list.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to CAU; treated to distinctive Argentinean comfort food and a bustling atmosphere complete with bubbly, first-class hospitality. CAU fits seamlessly into the small town Didsbury ethos and is a valuable addition to its diverse selection of local dining.