I believe that there is a certain etiquette when writing about restaurants. You should be polite, considerate, curious about the place and the food. But there is a certain distance required, an objectivity about what is being placed in front of you and what surrounds you. Just so you can give a sincere account of what a restaurant possess in terms of its layout, its atmosphere and most importantly its food.
I’m always polite, considerate and decorous, trying to maintain some kind of notion of integrity. I’m normally pretty good about this but on my visit to Cau, I believe that I blew all credibility by asking to take home the leftovers of my meal. I know that this is something that is exceptionally popular in America but is very much frowned on over here. As I was handed my left over cuts of beef, I was acutely aware of being the subject of several glances of fierce envy. But I was happy to take them in as I knew how good they were and that they had to be rescued from a rubbish bin.
The Tower Bridge branch of its sister restaurant of Gaucho is set right by St. Katherine Docks. You don’t get a view of the Thames but you are granted a full vista onto the docked ships of not quite the super rich but moneyed enough to maintain their own private vessel.
Whilst predominately a steakhouse, the ethos of the restaurant is to recreate a place you might find in the back streets of Buenos Aires. This is a little hard to do when you’re a couple of doors down from a branch of Café Rouge but the food certainly creates the right impression. Our starters of salt and pepper squid along with empanadas set the right tone for the meal, not too heavy and with plenty of competing flavours to enjoy. The chorizo and cream cheese empanada was particularly good, with the smokiness of the chorizo counterbalanced by the smoothness of the cream cheese.
Onto the main event. My companion and I steadied ourselves for the steaks and choose the rib-eye and the lomito respectively. Argentineans pride themselves on the meat that comes from las pampas, and my companion and I were served up with two excellent cuts of meat. My companion’s rib-eye was cooked exactly to her precise instructions and I was grateful for the waiter for her recommendation of the lomito, a cut that I had not previously encountered. It combined a pleasing tenderness along with the artful flavours you get with fillet steak. The only downside of the course was that it was so filling that we couldn’t finish it and had to call for an allowance to finish our meal in our own home.
The restaurant is a very cheery place at which to enjoy a good steak. It is conveniently located if you’re on the South Bank, and boasts good food, well informed staff and a glamorous setting that is not reflected in the price of the meal.
1 Commodity Quay