Review: Newcastle's New Argentinian Steakhouse, Gaucho
Popular steak restaurant Gaucho has opened its first North East venue
Having never been to a Gaucho restaurant before (but being told by almost all our friends how incredible their steaks are) we walked through the doors with high expectations – and by the end of the evening we could see why so many people have been excited for the opening.
Located in a Grade II-listed building on Pilgrim Street, Gaucho is a far cry from the former Virgin Money bank which previously occupied the space. As we walk through the large glass doors the mood is already set – the busy restaurant has been decorated with dark tones and warm lighting. There are large plush booths and high tables with pampas grass and gold accents at every turn.
We start with a drink at the bar before being shown to our high-seated booth overlooking the open kitchen. I order the Lychee Blush with Tanqueray gin, lemon juice, rhubarb and lychee, and my friend goes for The Dark Side made with Slane’s whisky, Glenmorangie X whisky, lemon juice and chocolate.
After taking a glance over our menus our waitress arrives, serving us water before taking our wine order – we go for a full-bodied Argentinian malbec, perfect to accompany steak. Camilla, our extremely attentive waitress, then talks us through the menu. Although the main dishes of seabass and black truffle-stuffed gnocchi sound good, they’re immediately overlooked when a whole page of the menu is dedicated to sustainable steaks. The list includes every cut, weight and style of steak you can imagine.
Having taken our starter orders, we’re asked if we would like to see the steaks on offer, and our waitress returns with a slate tray displaying six slabs of meat before talking us through each cut, how it would be best cooked, how it would taste and the marbling percentage.
Our starters soon arrive. My friend went for the steak tartare encased with crunchy crackers and topped with a slow-cooked duck egg. I on the other hand went for seared scallops topped with nduja butter, Aguachilli verde and lemon crumbs. They were cooked perfectly and the lemon crumbs had a lovely, crisp texture.
'Our waitress returns with a slate tray displaying six slabs
of meat before talking us through each cut, how it would be
best cooked, how it would taste and the marbling percentage'
Then it was time for our mains. I ordered the ribeye middle-weight (400g) steak cooked medium-rare with the peppercorn sauce and my friend got the Churassaco de lomo – a spiral cut marinated in garlic, parsley and olive oil – cooked rare and with a side of firecracker chimichurri sauce. Both steaks are cooked perfectly and we shared a number of sides between us; including sautéed broccoli, truffle mac and cheese, creamed mashed potato and thyme-salted chips. Our advice for your visit would be to order one side each as portions are generous. The truffle mac and cheese is perfect for us – strong enough on the truffle to taste but not overpowering to ruin the rest of your meal. The smooth and creamy mash however was our stand-out side which easily got polished off.
After a much-needed breather we glance over the dessert menu whilst our waitress tops up our wine glasses. She tells us the salted deluce de leche cheesecake, which has been on Gaucho’s menu since it’s very first venue opening, is a must. My friend decides to order on her recommendation, whilst I go for the apple pancakes – something I didn’t expect on the menu but when I tuck in, I’m glad of the light crêpe-style parcel which is filled with soft apple, Nutella and dulce mousse. I of course had to try the famous cheesecake and was slightly jealous when my spoon slid through the dessert and the sweet caramel melted in the mouth.
Whilst nursing the last mouthfuls of my food, I order Gaucho’s signature truffled old fashioned. The restaurant manager earlier in the evening suggested this as a nightcap as the truffle leaves a lasting taste in your mouth – and he wasn’t wrong. The white truffle infused Mortlach 12YO whisky is not like anything I’ve tasted before, but the undertone of chocolate offsets the truffle enough for the drink to be enjoyable. If you’re a truffle fan, finish your evening sipping one of these at the bar.
Having finished our Argentinian feast we leave the restaurant impressed, and full. Although a restaurant chain, the venue is styled beautifully, the food is delicious and the staff are second to none. It’s the perfect place if you’re celebrating something special.