Review of Gaucho Canary
After a three absence it was time to go back to Gaucho. I decided to visit Gaucho Canary wharf.
Times have been tough for Gaucho. Like a lot of chain restaurants (Jamie Oliver’s various restaurants, GBK, Byron) the owners of Gaucho (Gaucho Group) have had trading difficulties and were forced into administration last year. The Gaucho restaurants (which were profitable) have survived but all 22 of its sister steakhouse chain “CAU” were closed.
I have history with Gaucho. Back in 2013, I moved to London for a new job and celebrated with a huge steak at Gaucho’s Piccadilly restaurant. I got carried away. It was hard not to. After spending a week’s budget on food in a single night, Gaucho had earned the nickname “Oucho’. However, Gaucho became the default choice for any celebration: a reunion of friends or a new job. Then I discovered Hawksmoor.
After years without visiting Gaucho, I returned to Gaucho (I have visited Gaucho’s London locations in Piccadilly, Tower Bridge and the City as well as Manchester in the past). This time I visited a new branch: Gaucho Canary Wharf, which overlooks the Thames and is dwarfed by the increasingly imposing skyline of Canary Wharf.
The Gaucho concept
Gaucho fuses the feel of a night club with a steakhouse: think dimly lit rooms, plenty of mirrors, golden chandeliers and bright white chairs with a semi open kitchen and roaring grill. While the décor may be a little flamboyant, Gaucho’s menu is more tasteful: from empanadas, to burrata, cured meats ceviche and an enormous variety of steak cuts.
Our outstanding host Isabella presented a steak board with the standard cuts of rump, sirloin, rib eye and fillet. She explained that the beef is Argentine grass fed Angus. I eventually settled on the tasting menu of empanadas, provoleta cheese, tomatoes and an 800g Tira de Ancho (spiral cut rib eye) steak.
Tira de amazing ancho
The empanadas platter came out of the kitchen incredibly quickly, but were delicious: the pastry soft in the middle and crunchy in all the right places with the Tomato and Mozzarella empanada being the surprising stand out of the selection of empanadas.
The steak came immediately after the starters were cleared, which was way too soon (especially since there were a lot of starters). The steak had chimichurri sauce on top and was cooked medium rare. However, it looked like it had come straight off the grill (without resting) due to the steam and the pockets of juices that were forming on the plate and on the sliced edges of the steak.
I carved off a piece of steak and bit into it. After an initial taste of perfectly grilled and seasoned crust, juices flooded my mouth. I closed my eyes and savoured it. This was an insanely juicy and tender steak, probably juicier than any steak I’ve had this year. There was a decent taste of beefiness, which was complimented rather than overwhelmed by the chimichurri sauce.
Despite the timing (and resting) issues, my overall experience at Gaucho Canary Wharf was good. The service, empanadas and Tira de Ancho steak were stand outs. Just bear in mind that this is a high end steak house, so go heavy on the beef and light on the wine.
The order at Gaucho Canary Wharf:
- Sharing board of six empanadas (£19.95)
- Provoleta cheese (£7.95)
- Tomato Salad (£5.00)
- 800g Tira de Ancho (spiral cut rib eye) medium rare (£63)
- Dulce de Leche Cheesecake (£9.95)
- Bosca Tempranillo wine (Malbec) (£21.00)