By Adam Wednesday 7th Jan, 2015

The Towpath

Richmond Riverside,
Richmond TW10 6UJ
T: 020 8948 4030

Before Christmas the Dapper Chapper visited Gaucho, Richmond, and it’s got one hell of a view. The restaurant is located in one of the most picturesque parts of Surrey, nestled right on the bank of the Richmond stretch of the Thames.

After a short and rather charming walk along the Towpath, you arrive at Gaucho which boasts views of Petersham Meadows and Richmond Bridge in a rather unique and tranquil setting.

Of course, being in the deepest depths of winter (not that you would know it) we didn’t choose to eat outdoors, but in the summer you can enjoy al fresco dining on the terrace overlooking the Thames. However, we were there for one the thing that Gaucho has built a reputation on; tender Argentinean steaks.

After looking a little deeper into Argentine cuisine, interestingly when it comes to food it has preserved a distinctly European heritage in its cooking, a positive influence from centuries past. The first European explorers peered into the indigenous larder and started to refine and mould their food, and as a result there really is no such thing as an ‘Argentine cuisine’ in the sense that we refer to Italian or Chinese, for example, but instead a collection of a lot of delicious food.

So, as we all know Gaucho has built its rep on the steaks, no question, but upon arrival it appeared that they also have a fairly advanced drinks menu – one even to impress our Dapper Chapper barman. Our Gaucho experience started with a Club Negroni, built with Beckham and co’s Haig Club and CAFé PORTEñO NO.2 with Havana Club 3yr – both delicious.

We shared two starters, the Ceviche Sample which was a trio of Ecuadorian ceviche, black scallop and sea trout ‘cooked’ in citrus juices. We were encouraged to accompany the dish with wine pairings from their Selección G range, made especially for Gaucho, which worked perfectly.

For some, the wine menu can be a little intimidating but it was quickly apparent that you’re in safe hands. We actually asked our waiter for pairing recommendations after ordering each of our dishes, so that each wine accompanied a different dish which defiantly added to the experience.

The cerviche was followed by pan fried scallops accompanied by Watercress purée, smoked pancetta and confit red peppers. The scallops were hearty, tender and absolutely delicious.

After a discussion with our attentive waiter about how to get ‘the best Gaucho experience’ we ordered A trio of medallions, and a tasting plate for our mains. It’s often well worth asking – most wait staff get to try and taste this day in, day out and have san extensive knowledge of the menu, so if you’re unsure or want some insider knowledge, do ask.

The Trio included the most tender and lean cuts of lomo (Tillet), Ancho (Rib-Eye) and Lomito Cuadril (Rump). The tasting plate had three of their most popular cuts with – Chorizo (Sirloin) , Vacío (Flank) and entraña fina (Skirt)On the side the meat was joined by a flavoursome Chimi Churri sauce (Shallots, peppers, parsley, garlic, oil, red wine and vinegar), delicious creamed spinach, and chips cooked in beef dripping.

With little room left our dessert was Freggo, an a assortment of Argenetine ice cream and sorbet.

A Balvenie 15yr old and an Espresso Martini capped a rather splendid Dapper Chapper evening.

Gaucho is obviously a chain of restaurants, but the reason we chose the Richmond branch to write about is because this venue feels like a unique and tranquil escape. The service was outstanding, as was the food.

The one point to consider is the cost of the bill. Although you don’t have to be quite as indulgent as we were I’d suggest you’d need around £100 per head to really get stuck in and more if you want to go to town. No question that it’s worth, it but just be prepared that it’s a premium venue and costs reflect that. Absolutely one to pop on the ‘treat’ list, rather than an everyday occurrence. For The Dapper Chapper, Gaucho Richmond ticks all the boxes.