Gaucho

Argentine steakhouse doesn't taste as good as it looks 22 Reviews

Meal Deal
Friday brunch

An á la carte selection of meaty Argentine mains, plus unlimited starters and dessert, all served at the table. DDhs350 (soft drinks). Dhs450 (house beverages). Dhs575 (bubbly) Timings: Noon-4pm (Friday)

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Gaucho is not a steakhouse, according to the restaurant’s international operations director Ryan Hattingh – it’s an Argentinean restaurant that ‘specialises in steaks’. Rather than just being difficult, I think the point Ryan was trying to make when I spoke to him ahead of Gaucho’s original October opening date was that Gaucho isn’t just another steakhouse – it is somehow different. As I stood in the gleaming glass elevator looking out at the dark, moody and beautifully sleek venue, I begrudgingly conceded that he might have a point.

‘It is pretty cool,’ nodded the hostess, as if reading my mind. She was right: it was pretty cool. The elevator door breezed open and we stepped into the high-ceilinged, slate-black environs of the dining room, punctuated with dashes of cattle hide (which worked far better than I was expecting) and a couple of magnificent arched, ivory booths that accommodated round tables perfect for larger groups.

Our hostess nodded towards what will be the balcony area and informed us that once the outdoor space has been granted a licence, the misted windows will be cleared, affording guests unobscured views of the Emirates Towers. Our attention was also drawn to the glowing chamber behind the staircase, which will soon be lined with bottles of fine Argentinian grape. The best, it seems, is yet to come.

Service proved as slick as the decor. My date couldn’t help commenting on our handsome waiter’s aesthetic credentials every time he visited our table; I was just pleased he knew his steak. I was particularly impressed when he presented a cutting board exhibiting each different cut of steak, which he explained in detail, even recommending how each should be cooked. A nice touch.

Before we embarked on our meaty mains, there was the small matter of the starters to deal with. My date’s salmon ceviche was served in a miniature mountain of soft pink curls, which had a subtle citrus tang and the soft vinegary flavour of palm hearts. My octopus tiradito (a mosaic of translucent octopus slices bathed in tomato passata and crowned with an emerald-green bundle of rocket) certainly made an impact when it arrived at the table, but not so much when it reached my mouth – the passata drowned the octopus and the dish was a little deflating in that it reminded me that I was eating in a restaurant, rather than some kind of otherworldly, luxury spacecraft.

In spite of the management’s insistence that Gaucho isn’t a steakhouse, we were never really going to judge the restaurant on its seafood starters – the quality of the meat is the deal breaker. But there lies the rub: well-cooked, quality steak tastes much the same wherever you eat it, and while it’s obvious that Gaucho’s grass-fed beef is exceptional, it’s let down by its supporting cast of sides. While my churrasco chorizo, a cut of sirloin that had been marinated in garlic, parsley and olive oil, was excellent and my date’s tenderloin was cooked to perfection, the fries were verging on soggy, the spinach was slightly too salty and the tomato salad was rather boring. Granted, the Argentinian grape was lovely, and while I found myself enjoying the meal, I certainly wasn’t blown away.

Gaucho may not offer an exquisite dining experience (don’t get me wrong: it’s still very good), yet it offers an excellent restaurant experience – the decor, the service and the convivial atmosphere (it was packed by the time we left) are more than enough to lure me back. In this respect, Gaucho is an unrequited success.

The bill (for two)
1x Still water
Dhs25
1x Salmon ceviche Dhs50
1x Octopus tiradito Dhs68
1x Bife de cuadril Dhs155
1x Churrasco chorizo Dhs196
1x Chips Dhs20
1x Spinach Dhs25
1x Tomato salad Dhs30
1x Dulce de leche Dhs40
Total (including service) Dhs678

By Oliver Robinson
Time Out Dubai,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: DIFC, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 422 7898
  • Travel: Sheikh Zayed Road
  • Website | Send mail

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User reviews

ValueAmbienceService
DecorFoodOverall
  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Romantic

User reviews:

Posted by: Airish Sigue on 20 Sep ' 13 at 13:26
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

so far best restaurant for me in Dubai. Everything is fantastic!!!

Posted by: Dr. Raji Mathew on 05 Aug ' 13 at 19:27
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Just back from my first visit to Gaucho. Recommended the special cocktail drink for the day. After going through the menu card, opted to go with the special spicy mango cocktail. Had the Ecuadorean ceviche for starters and for the mains went with the 300gm churrasco chorizo which is the spiral cut sirloin. The meat on it's own lacked flavour. Salt, pepper and English mustard was used to enhance the taste. Used bread to mop up the juice from the steak. Potato puree with truffle was great.
Great ambience, lighting a little too dim, service faultless.
Expensive. Most of the mocktails on the drinks menu cost AED 55-60 which is as it is a little steep. I was shocked that the suggested drink should cost double that.
Bill:
Ecuadorian ceviche AED 55
Churrasco chorizo AED 205
Potato puree with truffle AED 30
Cocktail AED 105
Total including 10% DIFC tax AED 436

Posted by: Sam Jameson on 24 Jun ' 13 at 14:17
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Edited by TimeOutDubai.com

Consistency is key when it comes to fine dining and quality restaurants in Dubai. Several Dubai outlets often start up providing and excellent dining experience, and yet so many times, the consistency of that standard begins to deteriorate, with customers returning simply out of brand loyalty or 'to be seen'. It is that consistency on so many levels, be it service, dining, ambience and overall satisfaction, where Gaucho rises above the competition. Every element is preserved and consistent, and as a recurring visitor to the branch in London, it's easy to say that the standards are as good or better. Their recent menu alterations have provided a more versatile dining experience, but the Argentinian beef is still top notch, and you'd be arguably hard struck to find a better steak in the city. The classy, chic inner decor, brings an element of prestige to the DIFC eatery and the service as always is exceptional. Some reviewers may complain about pricing, but as the motto goes, you want quality, you got to pay for quality,

Posted by: Tamara Williams on 23 Jun ' 13 at 16:38
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Edited by TimeOutDubai.com

Extremely impressed by Gaucho Dubai. It was my first visit and the experience was incredible. From the decor, service and food.. They were spot on. Meat was perfect, ambiance was lovely and the service was impeccable. I can't believe I've just discovered it now. My new favourite spot for a special meal.

Posted by: Matthew on 30 Jan ' 13 at 20:56
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Edited by TimeOutDubai.com

I work in the DIFC and Gaucho has become by far my favourite restaurant. Service has never failed me and the food always come out with little wait and lots of flavour. The meat it's the best you will ever try, but don't believe me... try it yourself! Guaranteed no regrets.

Posted by: george on 14 Dec ' 12 at 09:28
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Great food, Excellent and knowledgeable staff which is very rare to find in Dubai. Fantastic Beef board, great selection of starter , a mind blowing rib-eye pared with a great bottle of Malbec and i had a very sweet ending with a typical Argentinian sweets pared with dessert sparkling wine , finish your meal and go up to the lounge,live Dj beautiful bar service and some good cuban cigars !!

Posted by: george on 14 Dec ' 12 at 09:28
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Great food, Excellent and knowledgeable staff which is very rare to find in Dubai. Fantastic Beef board, great selection of starter , a mind blowing rib-eye pared with a great bottle of Malbec and i had a very sweet ending with a typical Argentinian sweets pared with dessert sparkling wine , finish your meal and go up to the lounge,live Dj beautiful bar service and some good cuban cigars !!

Posted by: Dr. Michael on 30 Nov ' 12 at 08:18
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Superior atmosphere. Unmatched service from ground level elevator to the table servers. Single best steak I've ever eaten (and I'm a Texan). Wine well matched to the cut of meat we chose. And one MUST have the cheesecake to finish. We will make this a once a month outing !

Posted by: Monika on 23 Nov ' 12 at 08:00
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I usually don't take the time to write reviews but I felt Gaucho deserved one from me.
I was there on a wednesday night with a group of friends and absolutely loved it! The steaks are the best you will find, very tender & juicy, had some perfectly made cocktails before dinner and a superb bottle of wine recommended by the house sommelier. The service was immaculate and much more than the ususal "Sir/Madam" treatment you get in Dubai. Our waiter was very bubbly and very much on top of his game.
There was a guitarist playing alongside the DJ at the bar lounge area which was just perfect to unwind.
Highly recommend!

Posted by: Adriana on 08 Oct ' 12 at 20:10
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Great service, unique decor, tasty food...I highly recommend

Posted by: Quinapalus on 09 Jul ' 12 at 08:51
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

In a word; Fantastic.

The decor; Classic Gaucho, but blinged up just a little bit for Dubai. The staff; efficient, friendly, very helpful and all seem to really enjoy working there. The food; amazing! Have tried just about everything on the menu, but my favourite is the Chateubriand. I normally like my steak rare, but took the advice of the waitress and opted to have cooked Medium (which also met with the approval of my date with whom I was sharing the dish). The texture and flavour of the meat, combined with incredibly well judged seasoning created a taste sensation so overwhelming that it brought tears of joy to my eyes (I've eaten in some of the best restaurants in the world, and have only experienced this sensation 3 times in my life!!). Truly memorable, and well worth the money!

Posted by: Irina on 21 Apr ' 12 at 06:17
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

best meat in Dubai!

Posted by: Ayman Karadsheh on 18 Feb ' 12 at 09:17
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Impressive Decor even comparing to Gaucho in London, Dubai always looks for luxury and prestige. The starter menu is OK, still would like to see more variety, it is very expensive, AED 68 for most of the starter items (small portions).
Nice selection of steaks, great taste, rich in flavor. Disappointed that I had to pay for a small side order (mashed potatoes AED25).
Dessert menu can use more creativity. We asked if they can make Chocolate Fondant since it was not on the menu, they made it for AED40, and it was worth every penny.
Our server..Piotr, nice guy, not sure where is he from due to his heavy accent, he mentioned that he used to work for Gaucho Swallow St London (That's where I experienced Gaucho for the 1st time), he was professional and friendly. We received too much attention from every employee there, we have been served by 5 persons, one for the wine, another for the bread, another for the water and another lady who was just chatting to us.
One point for the servers there, give the customer sometime to go over the menu before you present the wooden board with the steaks selection. At least, when you name the different steaks, we will be already familiar with them since we read him off the menu.
Finally, I was disappointed that I could not smoke my Monte Cresto
cigar, smoking allowed only in the bar upstairs but you can't have
dinner.
I paid AED1026 for two persons.
Acqua Panna Water 30
Bottle of Merlot. 255
Fried Squid. 38
Salmon Ceviche. 50
Filet Medallions. 180
Filet 400g. 295
Mashed Potato. 20
Sweet Mashed Potato 25
Fondant. 40
DIFC Tax 10%. 93

Posted by: Mohammad on 17 Feb ' 12 at 10:29
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

The fillet steak was amazing and my medium well request was perfectly done. So no complaints what so ever regarding the food or service. The not so great part was that the music was sooo loud and the table for two was long that it was impossible for me to have a conversation with my wife. I really felt I could use the mic and head phones the staff use to talk to each other. If just the music volume is slightly lower, it would be my favorite steakhouse place in town. For now, Meat Company and Ruth's Chris are more enjoyable.

Posted by: Emy on 15 Feb ' 12 at 16:35
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Just loved it! Great food and ambience.
Tip: ask for a table in the main restaurant when you make a reservation

Posted by: dominique on 13 Dec ' 11 at 09:05
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

loved it. amazing passionfruit bellinis in the incredibly cool upstairs bar and a superb meal - we shared the tasty and perfectly cooked chateaubriand (easily enough for two) lots of tasty sides and a beautiful bottle of red wine. the complimentary deserts were delicious too and with great service, not rushed or pushy.

already highly recommending it to my friends (they're coming tonight!)

Posted by: Sarah Rickard on 12 Dec ' 11 at 18:38
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Great to have my favourite restaurant in the UK in Dubai and I was not dissapointed. Great steak, service and decor. Will definitely be visiting again with my friends.

Posted by: J The Explorer on 12 Dec ' 11 at 18:25
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Best steak in UAE.
Having had some bad experiences in other steak restaurants in Dubai recently, I had all but given up hope.... However, I found Gaucho to be a rare surprise....fantasssstic

Posted by: Kate Watson on 12 Dec ' 11 at 12:18
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue

Having been a regular Gaucho visitor in London, I was excited to learn they were opening in Dubai. After my first visit there last week, I was certainly not disappointed. They have perfectly matched the stylish decor with the iconic black and white walls. The staff were attentive and friendly. The food was excellent and the Chateaubriand was to die for. Already planning my next trip back.

Posted by: Emily on 07 Dec ' 11 at 06:36
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Despite being based in the main finance district of the City, they lack a business lunch menu - a poor decision given that their competitors have caught onto this practice.

I have been their twice and their French fries were regularly awful - soggy and tasteless. Even McDonalds do a better job!

I requested pepper sauce without alcohol, but apparently the chef holds his customers in contempt and knows better than we do about our tastes.

Steak was however very tender, and it was reassuring knowing that the cows are treated well.

Posted by: Mark Astor on 06 Dec ' 11 at 07:48
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

The food is pretty good but it's just way overpriced.

One of the steaks on the menu is Dhs1,000 which is ridiculous.

There's still nothing to touch The Exchange Grill at The Fairmont.

Posted by: Sally Ann on 05 Dec ' 11 at 21:25
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Loved the decor of the restaurant. My food was excellent, (the best steak I've ever had) and the service was amazing with friendly and knowledgeable staff. I was with a group of friends but would also come here on a date.

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Close X The Holy Month of Ramadan started on Sunday, June 29 and will last for one month. During this time live music and DJ sets will stop and opening hours may change at all venues. Please call ahead to confirm details with the outlet.