About two weeks ago, my boyfriend and I decided we would try out the new Argentinian steak restaurant in Guildford. Cau is a modern, flashy new jaunt, where they pride themselves on using fine Argentinian meat to make great Argentinian meals. Sold!
We both had high expectations, having both tried real Argentinian steak and real Argentinian food at the source. I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as the original, but we were excited to take a trip down memory lane with some classic Argentinian dishes.
Set in a large, quirky, open space surrounding, Cau is definately not the authentic Argentinian steak house. It tries to be fashionable yet casual, but has an upmarket price tag. It was Friday night, and the place was packed out. A good sign. I just hoped it wasn’t going to leave me feeling disappointed, as all I really wanted was proper Argentinian food.
The menu is pretty simple, with the main focus being on the steaks of course. The steak menu offers the basic classic cuts, but its the speciality cuts that are really worth a look at. From the typical South American cut of Lomito to the Asado de Chorizo, marinated in spicy churrasco, they offer a good variety (at a price!).
We both decided that whilst, the chorizo sausages and the steak meat burgers were also very appealing, it was steak that we came for.
David had the sweet potato salad, which I was seriously jealous of. The blend of beautiful flavours from the chorizo and the sweet potato was inspired, and very unique. I opted for the mussels, which weren’t typically Argentinian and a tad too much on the salty side.
The real deal was our mains. We shared the Tira de Ancho: a long cut of rib eye steak, marinated in chimichurri (the selling point) and cooked medium-rare. The steak tasted beautiful. Being rib-eye it was a little fatty, and I did have trouble chewing it at times, but that’s where all the flavour was. The chimichurri seasoning worked so well with the meat, and it was cooked perfectly. My only criticism was the chewiness, but David had no problem! We ordered thick cut chips, and vegetable tempura on the side, with some strong aioli sauce on the side (for the chips).
It wasn’t the best steak I’d had (nothing can beat my birthday steak in BA) but it was a different cut to normal, and had a great blend of authentic flavours.
Cau’s wine list was very impressive. With a good selection of Argentinian and European wines, ranging from “nice” to “very nice” or reasonable to expensive! We chose the “Piropo Merlot” from Argentina, which was deliciously fruity and went perfectly with the steak. Every good steak should be accompanied by good red wine, and this is something that Cau have in the bag.
I always want to see the dessert menu, whether I’m full or not! It’s the sign of a good dessert menu when I do order something, and even better when we order two to share! Well, this menu doesn’t disappoint. They even offer the South American phenomenon of “dulce de leche”, a sweet caramel sauce that is EVERYWHERE in SA. We indulged ourselves, with a chocolate fondant, and a raspberry and mascarpone cheesecake, both to die for. We also blagged a bit of dulce de leche on the side, for old times sake!
In summary, the quality of the food was good. The emphasis on presentation was obvious, but it didn’t mean that the taste was compromised at all. I would definitely recommend the sweet potato salad, and the steak, but next time I’d maybe try the chorizo!
The bill at the end was hefty. This was mainly down to the bottle and a half of wine and the steak, but it was still a little shocking! Also, whilst the service was good, there was a 10% service charge put on automatically. You pay for the uniqueness and the quality Argentinian meat.
Good wine, good food, not so good value, but good fun. My first recommendation: quirky Cau sent our taste-buds on a brief trip back to Argentina, and for that, we thank them.
< Check out Cau‘s menu here: http://www.caurestaurants.com/menus/ >