Stepping into London-export Gaucho Dubai, it’s impossible to miss what’s on the menu. The Argentinian restaurant serves beef, and they serve it up with udder perfection. We kicked off our meal with a drink at the stylish upstairs bar, which offers a list of cocktails as long as your arm, including a tipple of the day.
Naturally, I indulged – it would have been rude not to, really. And as soon as we’d finished at the bar we were taken downstairs to the restaurant, which was absolutely buzzing despite it being a Wednesday night. Before we had time for a second glance at the menu, the waiter was at our table to give us the lowdown on all the delicious dishes.
Next up, a sommelier appeared and preceded to recommend the best wine to match our meals. We decided to begin with the Cerviche sampler, which is a kind of Argentinian version of sashimi, which is served with Shrimp and roasted tomato and pepper sauce, Tuna tiradito and Red snapper with fennel, onion, mango and chilli in a citrus sauce. The tangy flavours and light seafood bites acted as a perfect way to begin the meal.
For our mains we opted for a classic Argentinian cut of meat called the Tira de ancho, which is a slow grilled rib-eye steak, along with the Grilled tuna loin. Gaucho is famous for only serving free-range, grass-fed British beef, which the chefs claim ‘boasts unparalleled leanness and richness’. I’m no culinary whizz, but the Tira de ancho did not disappoint, so I can only concede that free range is the way forward.
The Tira de ancho arrived at the table cooked to perfection, with a delicious blend of flavours and spices in a classic chimichurri sauce. Similarly, the tuna loin was also full of flavour and topped off with roasted pepper sauce with crispy capers. Dessert was an easy call. There was no way we could leave without trying the super-indulgent and as Argentinian as Evita, Dulche de leche cheesecake and the no-less-indulgent Chocolate and hazelnut truffles. Both were pure pleasure on a plate.
While good steak houses are two a penny in this town, Gaucho Dubai definitely stands out and wins plaudits for an exquisite menu, impeccable service and a buzzing ambience. While we’re not totally sold on the cow-hide walls, we’re not going to hold it against the place.
Location: DIFC, Dubai
Tel: 04 422 7898
Timing: 11.30ammidnight, Sat-Tue; 11.30am-2am, Wed-Fri
Tasty trio: London calling
The Ivy, Dubai
London’s celebrity haunt made its way to these shores in 2011 and was well received by the Dubai ‘it’ crowd. While this hip spot boasts all the style and finesse of the London chapter it has a much more intimate feel than the original. There aren’t paps outside the door for a start...
Location: Jumeirah Emirates Towers
Timing: 7.30-1pm, daily
Tel: 04 3198767
If you’re looking for classic Brit dishes with an upmarket twist, you’ve come to the right place. As you’d expect from one of Dubai’s ‘designer’ restaurants (Alfie’s is owned by Alfred Dunhill) this cocktail bar and restaurant is stylishly decorated and home to a well-heeled clientele.
Location: Jumeirah Emirates Towers
Timing: 7pm-11pm, daily
Tel: 04 3198088
Victoria Beckham’s restaurant of choice is one of the UA E’s most favoured dining spots. On any given day of the week it’s packed to the rafters, which is saying something when there are 300 seats to fill. Fortunately the crowd only serves to enhance the upbeat atmosphere. One tip: Be sure to try the black cod.
Timing: 12pm-midnight, daily
Tel: 04 255660