An authentic evening of Argentinean cuisine at Gaucho
We were whisked into a glamorous Argentinean evening at Gaucho wine-ing and dining (everything beef of course!) at their five course Divine Bovine event; an annual evening that celebrates the best Aberdeen Angus Beef in Argentina.
As soon as we stepped into the restaurant we were ushered into a glam and glitzy monochromatic setting. The interior design was chic and elegant, with plush seating decorated in luxe leather. The atmosphere was buzzing and our tummies grumbling, ready for what the night had in store for us! As it’s an intimate setting with dimmed lighting, Gaucho makes for the perfect place for a romantic night out or dinner with close friends.
As soon as we sat down we were offered Dirty Beef Martinis… yep you heard us right! We’re talking about martinis infused with beef stock (!), with a side of raw beef as garnish. It was surprisingly sweet and definitely an adventurous choice for most… and personally too adventurous for my tastes (definitely tasted too much like raw meat to be presented as a beverage) but if you’re up for trying something new, carpe diem… or carpe the drink!
As the five course meal comes with a glass per course, it was a great opportunity to taste-test different varieties of wine. My favourite was definitely the Susana Balbo Crios Torrontes, a crisp white Argentinean wine. It complimented the first dish relatively well which was smooth in its texture, and didn’t leave a bad (or any actually) aftertaste. Always a plus in our books!
Before each dish and glass of wine, a mini-masterclass was given – which was definitely a great insight into the history of Argentinean beef and wine (we’re all about life long learning, right mamas?). We were taught about all the different parts of a cow, how each dish was prepared, and where each wine originated from. Each course was innovative, prepared with different cooking methods and was true to Argentinean fine dining.
We started with Papas rellenas which was a deep-fried potato dish which reminded me of Spanish tapas (think croquettes but instead of ham, mince beef). It was a little heavy to start the meal with but the mince inside managed to be cooked perfectly and was a delicious start to the meal.
Being a lover of all things coffee and genuinely loving the bitter taste coffee beans provide, I was excited to try the Coffee and Cocoa Rubbed Ancho Fillet and it did not disappoint (definitely my favourite dish of the night!). The taste of the raw beef was complimented well with the bitterness from the coffee and cocoa. However if you think this dish might be too strong for you, fret not, it was paired with a deliciously sweet vanilla whipped sweet potato puree on the side, which provided a great contrast. And of course we can’t forget the quinoa it came with and who can say no to that? Healthy, full of protein and authentically South American!
The next dish consisted of Braised Back Ribs which have been cooked for 12 hours and definitely the most flavourful of the night and reminded me of both Chinese cuisine as well as beef jerky (probably because it was cooked for 12 hours). Although it was cooked for such a long period of time, somehow the beef still managed to retain its moisture. There was a play on tastes here with the plate being both tangy and spicy – an enjoyable combination!
We’re getting full here, but we can’t pass on the classic Steak and Eggs dish which reminded me of the classic English Scotch Egg, with a crispy outer shell, a layer of beef on the inside and a massive egg at the core. Although the egg was a little overcooked (a matter of preference as I usually prefer my eggs runny) and the shell a little too thick, the beef again managed to stay moist. It was well paired with a light sweet Chipotle sauce.
And for the final beef-based course of the night we were served a seared beef fillet. With the main course being the beef fillet, we expected the beef to have more of a rich and meaty flavour. However, the serving of potatoes made up for it because wait for it… truffle potatoes! Being a massive fan of truffles (when the dishes were brought over the smell was salivating) we was super excited and definitely wasn’t let down, with the truffle compote being palatable and creamy (but not overly heavy and nauseating).
A refreshing Malbec wine sorbet was served as a palette cleanser which wasn’t too strong and empowering and provided a richness which was balanced out by the light and icy texture of the sorbet itself.
And finally… dessert! And we all know there’s always room for dessert! The texture reminded me a lot of creme brûlée but with a coconut-y sweetness to it. The flavours were balanced out by refreshing berries and the delicious breadcrumbs sprinkled on top.
Although five courses of red meat may seem like a lot, because each dish was delicately prepared and modestly sized, we left the venue feeling light and satiated.
Overall, it was a sophisticated and relaxing night with professional and attentive service… and the bovine was truly divine! Gaucho is a great place to go for date night with your partner and definitely if you’re a true carnivore at heart.
Gaucho, 5/F, LHT Tower, 31 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong