Gaucho – an unforgettable Argentinian restaurant in the heart of DIFC

By Debbie Rogers

Friday night and instead of staying home with a movie, a bottle of something chilled and some popcorn, as per my usual weekend routine, I’m off to DIFC for dinner at Gaucho. Last time I was at Gaucho it was to learn how to make cocktails where the focus was on the drink and not so much on the food. This time it’s the reverse, and on the way to the restaurant I start to crave a juicy steak. I was not disappointed! Gaucho Dubai is part of the established Gaucho business which originally started in the UK and has since grown to multiple locations across the UK, Hong Kong, Dubai and Buenos Aires. I’ve dined at Gaucho in the UK and am always awed by the way in which Gaucho take their Argentinian heritage very seriously. All of the beef on the menu is farmed only for Gaucho, is grass fed, organic and from cattle who are reared free-range on the plains of the Pampas (Argentinian lowlands). The Argentinian heritage follows through on the menu, with traditional cuts of steak which are simply sprinkled with salt, grilled and served (preferably with a glass of Malbec to complete the true Argentinian experience). I should say this point how much I love the interiors of Gaucho, black, white, animal hides and shiny are the order of the day, and it works like a charm. The outdoor area was a bit too humid for our liking, but would be fantastic during a Dubai winter. Our experience starts with us choosing our steak from a board – on offer is Chorizo (Sirloin), Lomo (Fillet), Cuadril (Rump) or Ancho (Rib-eye) – all of the cost can also be served spiral cut in a range od different marinations and sizes. Personally I love this part of the meal, it’s fantastic to see what you are about to select, to get an idea of portion size, of the marbling of the meat and what the cut will look like. We are expertly guided by the helpful staff and after some debate select our choice of steak (Ancho is a favorite) along with a sauce, chimicurri of course, along with a few side dishes. As our mains are being cooked we start with a healthy roast pumpkin salad and the best portion of braised ribs I’ve had in a long time, far too nice to share – but my guest insisted and so I only got a few bites of gorgeously tender, sticky and flavourful beef topped with delicate slices of pickled jalapeños. Our main courses arrive with flair, there’s a selection of different sauces, Humita Salteña a signature dish consisting of sweetcorn, mozzarella and basil served in corn husk and double cooked chips with truffle oil which are very good. Desserts are a delightful affair, albeit we are quite stuffed from our steak, and we choose two different Dulce de Leche desserts including the start of the show, a heart stompingly good Dulce de Leche Cheesecake. Not just on the menu as a trendy dessert, Dulce de Leche is a sticky, thick caramel made from condensed milk and is one of Argentina’s National Treasures and a firm favourite of mine. Topping off our experience, I should mention the extensive Argentinian wine list on offer, actually there are two wine lists, the usual one as well as one titled “Fine and Rare”. Want to know more? The Gaucho website is one of the nicest restaurant sites I’ve seen in a while. There’s plenty of information on the site. Take your pick on menus from the usual through to wine tasting events, beef masterclasses, cheese & wine, business lunches (feel good estimated to be 500 calories and feel great which is a bit more indulgent), a popular Friday brunch, and Coffee Break a meeting menu in a private room which looks fun and would make a change to the usual office scenario. In addition, there’s a wealth of information about Argentinian Food, Wine, Travel and Culture – I’m hooked! Book me a flight to Argentina pronto! Details : Gaucho, DIFC [Images by Debbie Rogers]

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