Thursday, January 18, 2007


Is the new, slightly more self-important moniker for what used to be known as the Gaucho Grill.

"At Gaucho we pride ourselves on the basic philosophy of provenance. To us this means authenticity, assurance and rigorous attention to obtain the finest quality ingredients at source."

Which means you can't order a steak these days without being treated to a little lecture about all the different cuts and the best way to cook each of them, and you will be sternly corrected every time you use herd-speak words like sirloin: "Chorizo...sir"

Indeed our waiter last night was the over-attentive sort that usually drives my father up the wall. (Though not as bad as his equivalents next door at Awana where you are afraid to put your wine glass down on the table because each time you do several black suited loiterers practically trip over each other in their mad rush to refill it.)

Anyway, the point of this post was not a restaurant review, but to comment on the range of ceviches now on offer at this chain. Few would be recognisable as such to your average chapin.

I picked the Fire and Ice: "Tuna cured in a coconut, lime and citrus sauce with red onion, jalapeño, coriander and shaved coconut."

My mother told me that she would normally have asked for a mouthful but as they had only served me one, she'd let me keep it. It came in the sort of cocktail glass that hobbits might use to drink vodka martinis. In spite of the downsized, tight-fisted Argie nature of the portion it was so delicious and delicate that it did take a while to spoon down (and the spoon provided was halfling sized too.) I might try to make this at home.

This bit of copy on the website got a grin out of me. Since when was Sloane Avenue "one of the coolest avenues in London, if not Europe". (Ok, there's the Conran shop in the fabulous old Michelin House, but the only other landmarks of note are a Texaco garage, dreary-old Nell Gwyn House and a dirty brick C of E primary school. )

The wine we drank was lovely.

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