We finally went for steak in Gauchos. Now I have heard so much about this place. It is apparently the place for steak here in Gibraltar and I will not dispute that now I have eaten there.
The service was really good. Two gentlemen waited on our table. It ran very smoothly. Both were very helpful, friendly and professional.
We didn’t order starters; instead we just chomped on the fresh bread rolls brought to the table with delicious salted butter, (that I could feel clogging my arteries as I spread it on) there were also mixed olives for us to pick over.
The steaks arrived, medium rare and were cooked to perfection. Then out came our side orders. We ordered cream potatoes, and roasted vegetables. The roasted vegetables were crisp, flavoursome and delicious. The portion however was tiny, and we had asked how big they would be, and were told they were big enough to share, annoyingly we barely had a table spoonful each. The cream potatoes were also something of a letdown. It was mashed potato with which had been made with cream, if the menu had pointed this out I wouldn’t have bothered ordering it. I can make mashed potatoes at home, what I don’t tend to have at home is fresh cream, to make cream potatoes, which in my mind are part boiled potatoes which are then baked, covered in cream, sometimes with a little blue cheese as well. Again this side was tiny. The steak however was very big and we both felt this somewhat compensated for the let down of the side orders.
The ‘thing’ with Gauchos is the heated stone they put on your table, so you can heat / cook your steak once it has been served. I don’t get this. I asked for medium cooked steak, it was cooked to perfection when brought to our table so why bother to bring out the stone? I don’t know what this stone is for! Certainly not fillet steaks! As far as gimmicks are concerned I sort of felt this one was a law suit waiting to happen. If I wanted to cook for myself I would do so in my own kitchen not in a public place. Also I did try putting some steak on the stone. Not only did it stick fast, it smelt horrendous, spat everywhere and smoked! It absolutely reeked afterwards, and not of ‘cooking meat’, but ‘burning flesh’, it was not at all appealing.
After that we also had dessert, I had lemon meringue pie and my husband had chocolate cake. Both come with a scoop of Movenpick ice-cream. They were average at best. The ice-cream as always was lovely, but the lemon meringue pie was soggy which was disappointing and at £5.95 a dessert I couldn’t help but feel that I’d just been eating a supermarket / Sara Lee dessert. I don’t want to speak badly of this restaurant, because primarily we went there for a ‘meat hit’, however I wasn’t massively impressed by the rest of our food there. The side orders are cheap enough to order one of each of whatever you fancy, the dessert (unless you go purely for ice-cream) is probably something to avoid; perhaps I should try them all before I write them off entirely? I do think it is expensive for what you get. The bread rolls and olives were billed at £2, the fillet steaks were £26 each, the cream potatoes £2, and the roasted vegetables £3, the sauces were also £1.50 each, I had blue cheese and my husband had pepper sauce. So all told we spent £79.30 on just two courses. We also had a bottle of water and three soft drinks which totalled up amounted to £5.40.
Gauchos does offer good food, bar the desserts. But if I am honest I would rather walk over the runway and go to Patagonia. The way the steak is cooked there, over orange wood embers, enhances the flavour of the meat and the side orders are so generous in size three people can share them. They are slightly more expensive, perhaps a pounds difference, but I feel the dining experience in Patagonia far outweighs Gauchos. I guess what you save on cab fare to Patagonia you spend on food and sides in Gauchos.
Has anyone else eaten there? What did you think?
1 Fishmarket Road
Telephone: 00 350 20059700