£5 for a box of stale popcorn, £4 for a watered down Coke and something similar for what is allegedly a ‘sausage’ in a cardboard roll. This is essentially what one can expect to pay at a cinema, and that’s before you’ve even bought a ticket to the mediocre movie. No wonder the film industry is in such a state. During a recent visit to the cinema (just in case you’re interested I saw Watchmen – very average, quite geeky) I opted to completely avoid the food offering and instead have a proper meal at the nearby Gaucho in The O2, Greenwich. OK, so it’s obviously pricier than the cinema food, but at least it’s actually enjoyable.
Having opened in April 2008, this branch of the trusty Gaucho chain is arguably their most impressive. The large venue features a sunken bar area and a dedicated wine tasting room on the ground floor, whilst the dining room is a mere elevator ride away on the first floor. The restaurant also maintains the somewhat ‘bling’ signature Gaucho interior of cowhide, leather and crystal.
The menu keeps to the ‘Nuevo Latino’ menu of ceviche and Argentine steaks for which Gaucho has become renowned. The Japanese might be the experts in delicate seafood dishes, but the Argentineans aren’t far behind, so we decided on fishy starters. Crab cakes were light and full of tasty flakes of crab, whilst the Ceviche De Mar was a wonderful melange of shrimp, octopus, squid, sea bass, red onion, chilli, cucumber, coriander and Bloody Mary sauce. For mains, Ms Pancake’s Fillet steak was full flavoured and cooked medium rare to absolute perfection. I opted for their special Churrasco Chorizo, a flattened sirloin which had been marinated in garlic and parsley; totally delicious but the meat was a little chewy in parts. The meal was accompanied by Sweet potato chips with chorizo – an interesting alternative to regular chips. Desserts included a gargantuan slice of creamy yet mild Dulce de leche cheesecake and incredibly moorish Pancakes with vanilla ice cream & dulce de leche.
We also made the most of their impressive 160 bin exclusively Argentine wine list, with some well matched reds. In particular, the Alma 4 is a uniquely sparkling red that really livened up the palette and should be made obligatory as a pre-cursor to every steak!
Cuisine type: Meat
Meal for 2 (excluding drinks): £80
Gaucho @ The O2
London SE10 ODX
Tel: 020 8858 7711