Last weekend was special, very special. It was my beloved husband’s big ‘0’ birthday and I was on the mission to make it unforgettable. The plan was to book a table in a restaurant that would not only serve amazing food but also have a great atmosphere for such a special celebration. We are spoilt in London for choices of great restaurants and I often rely on my favorite picks, such as Skylon, Oxo Tower or Gilbert Scott restaurants. But this time I took a chance on a new place, Gaucho – an Argentinian steak restaurant, and I was very happy I’ve done that.
To be honest, I have walked by Gaucho Piccadilly on Swallow Street many times and it always looked inviting. But in a search for a perfect venue for hubby’s birthday, it came to mind and I decided to book it immediately. Knowing that Friday evenings get very busy at top restaurants, I booked a table for 6pm. There are two advantages to it – first, you can take advantage of pre-theater menu, which is reasonably priced for a three-course meal (£30 is a steal by London standards). Second, you can enjoy a more relaxed chilled setting before the restaurant gets super busy and loud.
Once we stepped inside, we were quickly ushered by a hostess in sleek black jumpsuit to the 2nd floor dining room. The décor in Gaucho Piccadilly is very polished and sexy with calfskin leather furniture, elegant lighting and minimalistic black-and-white design.
Lovely bar on the 2nd floor for pre-dinner drinks.
Even bathrooms at Gaucho are swanky!
While I chose dishes from pre-theater menu, my hubby opted for a la-carte menu.
We knew we were talking to Argentinian steaks experts when our friendly waitress brought out cutting board with various beef cuts and explained how each would taste. Inspired by these choices, my husband ordered a 300gr cuadril rump steak, leanest cut with a pure, distinctive flavor, while I got its smaller 200gr version.
But let’s start from the beginning.
My first course was roasted pumpkin salad with crumbled feta, pine nuts, watercress, with a mint and cumin yoghurt dressing. My husband had crayfish causita with red onion, celery, green olive, coriander mayonnaise with boiled egg. Both were very delicious and mine was healthy and light.
Second course was churrasco cuadril marinated for 48 hours in garlic, parsley and olive oil, and served with a choice of sauce. My steak came with chips and we also got a side order of broccoli.
Finally, to top it off we ordered dulce de leche cheesecake as dessert. OMG, it was to die for! Imagine cheesecake served with hot salted dulce de leche and toasted marshmallow?!
While we were tucking in these South American culinary delights and enjoying Gaucho’s great vibe as the room started to fill up, we also received impeccable customer service. The minute we put our cutlery down or our drinks were getting low, there would immediately be someone by the table to check and replenish.
And just like that we also met Will, Gaucho’s super friendly yet professional maître d. Seeing my husband pairing up his steak with Colomé ‘de Terruno’ Gran Altura Malbec, grown on the world’s highest elevated vineyard, Will appeared with a bottle of another red wine and asked him to sample. As it happened, my husband was drinking one of his two favorite wines and Will wanted him to try his other favorite and offer his honest opinion. After a brief exchange of wine preferences and a bit of education about Argentinian wines, they agreed the Colomé ‘de Terruno’ was the best!
We had an amazing three course meal and as we paid the bill, I dropped into our friendly chat with a waitress that it was my husband’s birthday. “Why didn’t you say something?”, she exclaimed and disappeared in the kitchen. Five minutes later she reappeared with a plate of chocolate truffles with a candle and two glasses of bubbly. What a lovely surprise and a perfect end to our dinner evening.
And if you want to see more on our visit to Gaucho, I even made a vlog.
Overall, this was one of the best London restaurant experiences we’ve ever had. We definitely will be back and would recommend to anyone.