Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of tagging along as +1 to Gaucho Richmond for a Sunday brunch. First and foremost, the restaurant is bautifully located along the Thames in a very peaceful setting which provides for a charming contrast as the inside of the restaurant is pretty edgy and has a bit of a 1950’s Argentine club inspiration to it. I have to say, the interior and decoration did actually remind me of something taken out of a film so what better way to start off the day than with one of their highly-spoken-of Bloody Mary’s?
Ok so admittedly, I had done my research and had my eyes set on their Gaucho Bloody Mary – a vodka based drink mixed with their home-made chimichurri, fresh tomato and lemon juices, salt & pepper, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. The perfectly creamy tomato juice worked heavens with the garlic and parsley in the chimichurri leaving you with a tingle of the individual spices activating the different taste buds on the tongue.
My friend opted for the new Jilguero Mary – vodka mixed with fresh yellow tomato juice, fresh lemon juice, white pepper, celery, salt, grated ginger, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. Interestingly, we were told that as yellow tomato juice cannot actually be bought from producers in England Gaucho buys the tomatoes from The Isle of Wight and has them specially made into juice by their own producers at 4 am every morning. You can really taste the dedication in the drinks and for a brief moment there was utter silence between us, as we had a couple of sips – those of you who know us will know that it’s a rarity! – A definite THUMBS UP and a MUST for anyone paying a visit to the restaurant.
First up for brunch starters was the Fresh Fruit Salad consisting of blueberries, oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, banana and grapes topped with fresh mint leaves and Gaucho’s own Torrontes Syrup. The presentation of the salad with its intense colours actually reminded me of a mouth-watering seafood and shellfish platter and as promised, the Torrontes syrup truly delivered allowing the fresh mint leaves to really bring out that delicious sweet of the fruit and syrup working together. For anyone looking to have <a slightly lighter brunch, this is definitely to be recommended, perhaps with the Media Luna Trio (below).
Next up the waitress presented to us a gorgeous Tarta de Marmelada with what tasted like a strawberry topping. It was served slightly warm and wafted of newly baked. Personally, I’m more for savoury and actually find that too much sweetness can be bit difficult but I really have to give it to the chefs again for managing to balance out the perfect sweetness with the slightly salty buttery pastry, leaving you on a constant edge where you’re going in for that ‘just-one-more’ bite. This is something that I can honestly say equally applies to the custard pastry in the Media Luna Trio as well. In fact, I think I can speak for the two of us when I say that the Media Luna Trio was probably the favourite of the dishes we tried at the restaurant. Three croissant-like pastries – one plain, one with custard filling, and one with ham and cheese – served together on one platter. I would call this the yin and the yang of our culinary experience at Gaucho’s. Perfectly balanced in themselves and together – I found my Zen and was actually taken off on a cloud for a brief moment before reality hit me with an ice cube on the nose - time to order another drink!
This time my friend opted for a Bocharov – based on Smirnoff Black Vodka infused with chilli and mixed with fresh orange juice Patagonian rosehip jelly - all shaken and served straight up in a martini glass. The drink was topped off with a pinch of freshly ground black pepper. I went for the Taladro Argentino – a gin based drink mixed with their home-made peppermint tea and berry mix syrups. The drink had a slightly bitter veil allowing for a hint of the gin and the rich flavours of the syrups to really shine through. Absolutely delish!
As if we hadn’t stuffed ourselves enough, the final crescendo was a 225 gram sirloin steak with two fried organic eggs on top. WOW! Although some may find it rather odd to have steak served without any complimentary sauce, I must admit that the carnivore in me loves the juicy taste of a medium-rare succulent cut and honestly, I found the runny egg yolks provided the perfect sauce. About the coolest part of the visit to the restaurant was the chance to meet Fernando Larroude and Ricardo Galvez, two Gaucho Richmond chefs whose names are just about as charming as their enchanting characters. In fact, the service at the restaurant was impeccable.
All in all, the only thing I can say about Gaucho Richmond is – try it out for yourselves. Be it for a sweet’n savoury birthday brunch or a hangover steak’n eggs with a hair-of-the-dog Bloody Mary, a Gaucho brunch is really a treat I can recommend.
Additionally, for those of you who are into exotic relish and alluring spirits, a little birdie whispered in my ear that the restaurant has been working closely with Argentine bartender of the decade, Tato Giavannoni, in perfecting their cocktail menu, and that they have in fact acquired a venue in the Sloane Square area which is to be opened sometime in the early spring of the new year. The theme of ‘Bar Galiente’ will continue in true Gaucho spirit with continuous inspiration from Buenos Aires’ cocktail scene… so keep a look out!
The Gaucho Bloody Mary: £8.50
The Jilguero Mary: £9
Toladro Argentino: £8
Fresh fruit salad with Torrontes Syrup: £8.95
Tarta de Marmelada: £3.75
Media Luna Trio: £3.50
Steak and Eggs: £17.25
The Towpath, Richmond Riverside
London TW10 6UJ
020 8948 4030