1st January 2008
Gauchos Richmond branch serves up prime Argentinean beef in a funky, romantic surrounding. It may not be easy on the wallet but with top notch food, wine and service to match it is worth splashing out on.
The restaurant occupies an idyllic riverside location. The decked terrace areas enjoys unspoilt views of Richmond Bridge and with few close neighbours, the venue exudes a sense of exclusivity that is sure to impress. Inside Gaucho manages to pull off cowprint wall hangings whilst still retaining an air of sophistication with plenty of dark wood and candlelight. The restaurant is an L shape with a small bar area just beyond the entrance. Floor to ceiling windows maximise the view of the Thames for those lucky enough to get a window seat.
Even early in the week the restaurant can get busy and it is well worth booking ahead. There`s a pleasant buzz of diners who are enjoying not only good food but the experience of dining out and the crowd is a mix of mostly young couples and groups. The excellent service begins from the moment you walk in the door making it hard to believe that Gauchos is part of a chain. The staff are knowledgeable about both the food and the wine and take the time to explain the menu and make recommendations. Furthermore, your glass is unlikely to stay empty for long.
After the wine has been poured and the breads laid out the waiter brings out a board of steaks and talks you through the cuts and sizes available. However, the comprehensive menu proves that there is more to Argentinean cuisine than steak so don’t make your mind up too early!
Starters include empanadas, a street food favourite in Argentina, a selection of sausages and ceviches. The fire and Ice lives up to its name, combing spicy jalpeno and cooling coconut and juicy shrimp. The only complaint might be a slight skimping on the lobster but it is a small criticism of a delicious dish. Main courses include both chicken and fish but unsurprisingly there is not much for vegetarians. The monkfish is tender and delicious although the radish side salad does not add much in terms of imagination or flavour. For meat lovers though, the steak is by far and away the best choice. The high quality Argentinean beef is cooked exactly to specification and there is a good range of side steak should taste like the churassco cuts come highly recommended by staff and patrons alike. The meat is spiral cut and marinated for 24 hours to produce a steak that really does melt in the mouth. You may think you are too full for dessert but the traditional churros with a dark chocolate dipping sauce are so moreish that you will find room to squeeze them in.
The wine list is both extensive and accessible with wines grouped and explained by grape, although prices can run into excess of £50.00 a bottle. They also offer a selection of affordable wines on its own exclusive label that encompasses all the major Argentinean grape varieties. On the other hand for the real wine buffs there is also a list of fine and rare wines available. The waiters are happy to recommend but Gauchos own Malbec is a delicious red to enjoy alongside the steak.
The Last Word
Forgot oysters and say it with steak. Gauchos Richmond location offers a perfect chance for red-blooded carnivores to shoe their softer side.