The Harlequins forward gives his review of an afternoon spent at the prestigious Gaucho Richmond.
A happy new year to you all. I trust that the festive period has been good to you. I hope you enjoyed a day or two with your immediate and extended families, and that your mils have rocketed up over what can only be described as a feeding frenzy.
As we embark on this new year, I’m sure there are a lot of worries for you all: How will Brexit turn out? Who will win the Rugby World Cup? Will the final season of Game of Thrones be as epic as promised?
As you dwell on these daunting and exciting prospects, why don’t you sit back, relax and imagine my soothing voice narrate a review of the beautiful Gaucho Richmond.
Picture this; it’s 12:55pm on a cold, wintery Thursday. You have your hot date sat next to you in the car and the pressure is mounting. You have five minutes until your reservation at the illustrious and very fancy (in my opinion) Gaucho Richmond. You are rushing around in trying to find a parking spot on Richmond Hill. You’re annoyed with yourself because you completely forgot you had lunch at Gaucho that day. The saving grace, of course, is that the further you drive towards Richmond park and away from Gaucho, the view improves dramatically. You’re met with a stunning scene of the twisting Thames, flowing past gorgeous fields filled with cows.
On arrival at Gaucho we are greeted by two lovely gentlemen, who guide us to our river-view seats. The restaurant is divine, and our waiter is equally as charming.
What to start? What did I really enjoy last time? I think it was the funky bread, or was it the empanadas? I can’t remember for the life of me. Luckily, the nice, funky bread is brought to us complimentary and it is very tasty. It’s warm cheesy bread with butter slapped on it and is mega delicious. I could have eaten buckets of the stuff, but if I had, I wouldn’t have room for the sausage board we ordered. The board features a luxury range of delicious chorizo sausages and a unique black pudding sausage. This is my heaven. I am a massive chorizo lover and these Gaucho sausages do not disappoint. The black pudding version isn’t for me, but I eat it anyway. The others are fantastic, very meaty, with a touch of spice.
For my main course I order the Churrasco De Lomo, a 400g fillet steak ‘spiral cut’, cooked medium, with no sauce, as it’s marinated beautifully with garlic and parsley. Why did I order this steak? Firstly, as our waiter explained, it sounded like a wonderful option, fillet steak, supposedly the best cut, cooked the way I like, yep sign me up. Secondly, it was the most expensive 400g option on the Gaucho menu, yep thank you very much. The steak arrives at our table and my god it looks and smells delicious. It doesn’t take me too long to consume as it’s undeniably good.
Finally, the most important part of the meal, dessert. As we mull over the most crucial decision of the afternoon, our waiter swoops in and comes to the rescue, “How about you try the trio of desserts?”. "Ooh my!", I reply gazing at my hot date, “That sounds fantastic”,
“I agree!”, hot date exclaims. In a heartbeat the conundrum is solved. We are on our way to the tipping point of the date. Will the dessert go down well? Will we finish with complete pleasure? Or, will we be left unsatisfied, filled with complete hatred for one another?
As I observe the trio of desserts on their way from the kitchen to my table, I feel myself salivating. I feel like a lion tracking a tasty gazelle on the plains of Africa, waiting to pounce and devour my prey. My prey being: a dulce de leche pancake, cinnamon churros and giant alfajores.
As promised, these desserts do not disappoint. You know what you’re getting with churros. A stick of sugary doughnut; which can only be described as three or four inches of glory and on dates such as these, every inch counts. Moving on to the pancake. Once again, how can you not enjoy a pancake filled with dulce de leche? Does anyone really know what dulce de leche even is? Is it caramel? Is it a milk-based sauce? Is it both? Unfortunately, we will never know, but I do know this – it’s incredible. Finally, the giant alfajores (also filled with dulce de leche) if, like me, you didn’t/don’t know what one of these delightful treats is, allow me to explain. It's basically a big, sugary biscuit. I can't really say much more; a big, sugary, caramel biscuit covered in chocolate sauce, if you so wish.
You think it’s all over? Not quite. As we leave the restaurant we are met once again by the river; turn right and you’re in the heart of Richmond's nightlife, turn left and you wander along the river towards the cows and our car. We did the latter, while reminiscing about the magic we just consumed at Gaucho, Richmond.
I hope to see you on the field soon. Don’t chase me too quickly as I'll still be full of dulce de leche. All the best, James.
Claim 30% off at any Gaucho restaurant throughout the UK. To book a table please call Gaucho’s VIP no. on 020 3281 6682 – stating you are an RPA member.