Gaucho Richmond promises to combine the ‘typical’ Gaucho experience of a refined Argentinian eatery and the beautiful setting of the Thames. We visited both during a relaxed sunny Sunday afternoon and a dark evening, with both we found the restaurant to have a warming charm and welcoming feel. In tandem with the dark, seductive restaurant, it was lovely to have the option of an al fresco dining experience too. This kind dynamic setting and variation on atmosphere is harder to find at Gaucho’s central London locations and we really appreciated the riverside dining option here. If you are a fan of Gaucho, we would not hesitate in recommending a visit to this Richmond restaurant.
Gaucho’s menu is modern take on Argentinian cuisine, in particular, fine meats and fine wines. If you are looking for a tender cut of steak and a high-end glass of red, then you are most certainly in the right place. To start our exploration of Gaucho’s menu, we went for the Ceviche Sampler, a selection of Gaucho’s most popular light, seafood offerings. The dish comes with an immaculate trio of Ecuadorian ceviche, salmon ceviche and scallop Tiraditos. Our personal favourite of the three has to be the Scallop Tiraditos, which combined vibrant pomegranate, mango, chilli, red onions and lime. The fruit flavours here and hints of chilli working well to highlight the flavour of the scallops and to not over power. All three worked well with Corte G Blanco, a white blend that perfectly partnered the dish.
We would also recommend the beautifully braised and chargrilled Aberdeen Angus Short Ribs (£14). The portion is certainly not for the feint hearted and quite large if you are to go for a steak later in the meal. However, the dish was soft, tender and packed full of flavour. The richness of the meat was perfectly matched by red cabbage and red onion, giving a zingy after taste. For a slightly lighter start to the meal, we would also recommend the Gaucho’s take on Argentinian chorizo, complete with confit peppers and pickled red onion. Either way, the starters at Gaucho are a good indicator of the menu’s strength and the prominence of flavour throughout.
Argentina is renowned for its wonderful steak offerings and subsequently, it should be of no surprise that this is where we focused our mains. Before ordering, we were given a pleasant insight into each cut offered at the restaurant and guidance on how best to have the meat cooked based of levels of marbling, for example. For steak newcomers, this is a fabulous element of the experience, without being patronising.
The best way to get a glimpse of Gaucho’s menu is the “Tasting Plate”. It offers three of the restaurant’s most popular cuts – chorizo, vacío and entraña fina (£35.50). Chorizo (Sirloin) is a classic cut and offers all the succulence you would expect from beef bordered by a strip of crackling. Vacio is a super tender flank and comes marinaded in garlic, parsley and olive oil. For me this tender little cut offered fantastic flavour and texture to boot. Simply gorgeous. To finish off the Etrana Fina is contains more marbling and therefore offers slightly more robust flavour. Plus, the smoked garlic marinade gives a different dimension to this cut. In short, the three steaks were a fantastic example of how flexible beef cuts can be and a great introduction to new cuts for all.
However, if you are looking for a super tender cut with a good amount of flavour, the Lomo fillet is a very delicate piece of meat and melts in the mouth. We could not fault a single of Gaucho’s signature steaks. We would recommend combining any of the steaks with the Humita Salenta, a combination of roasted pumpkin and sweetcorn, served in a cornhusk.
Wine at Gaucho is also a fantastic treat. We would highly recommend Gaucho’s very own Malbec, Vina Patricia. The restaurants vineyards have 80 years of experience and hail from the Mendoza region. For £12.50 per glass, we really felt this was a fine quality wine with great value. Certainly one to look out for! At the higher end of the price scale, ‘Loro’, a velvety and wonderful Malbec is another example of fine wine from the Mendoza region. If you aren’t afraid to pay about £70 for the bottle, this is a must-taste; it really is Gaucho’s selection of red wines is a fantastic indulgence for wine fans and a real exploration of some of South America’s finest. Whether you decide to pick from their classic menu or their “Fine & Rare wines” selection, you will not fall too far from a great wine.
Once you have polished off a fantastic main, there is only way to go – desert! The Berry Semifreddo proved to be a palate cleansing combination of berries and crushed strawberries. A special mentin here goes to the suggested wine pairing of Familia Schroeder ‘Deseado’ NV Sparkling sweet Torrontés, 125ml £7.85. This elegant sparkling wine worked wonderfully with the berries for a clean finish. For those with a sweeter tooth, the chocolate ganache cake packed a powerful punched, which was offset by a beautiful raspberry sorbet.
Book your Gaucho Richmond experience here: http://www.gauchorestaurants.co.uk/restaurants/richmond/
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