Gaucho is a steak house, yes, but it’s always been known as an Argentinian steak house — most customers who post shots of their meals across social media and food review platforms put that bright green chimichurri sauce on full display, right next to or slathered on top of their steaks. The restaurant gets its beef imported from Argentina, and the rest of the menu is comprised of dishes that most customers would recognize from Pan-Latin American dining experiences up until this point — empanadas, ceviche, dulce de leche cheesecake.
However, many people who know Gaucho here in Hong Kong don’t know (or have forgotten) that the restaurant was actually born in the UK, back in 1994. The Hong Kong outpost only opened in 2014, but the restaurant brand has been doing its branding thing for a pretty long time.
Gaucho says that it in a nod towards its British roots, the restaurant in Hong Kong recently rolled out its own take on a British culinary staple: the Sunday roast.
In case you’re not familiar with the Sunday Roast — it is a traditional British meal served on a Sunday (clearly), and typically consists of roasted meat (beef, chicken, and/or pork) as the centerpiece, complemented by sides of roast potatoes, vegetables (usually carrots, Brussels sprouts, peas, or parsnips), gravy, and a Yorkshire pudding (a baked pudding made up of flour, eggs, and milk or water).
Let’s see what Gaucho’s twist on a British institution looks like, shall we?
To start, we had some homemade bread with butter, plus Gaucho’s chimichurri sauce with the restaurant’s homemade Pan de Bono (Colombian cheese bread). A little nod to both cuisines to start, eh? No complaints there.
The chimichurri sauce is a sweet and sharp vinegar dressing spiked with the pungency of fresh chopped garlic and herby notes from cilantro or parsely. We were encouraged by staff to “try it with everything” — and boy, did we.
Sharp, sweet, and one of those dangerously good sauces that you can eat with bread, meat, vegetables, salad, or even on its own. Pro tip: skip the butter altogether.
But before we move onto the main, we tried the scallops pancetta (HK$178) from the a la carte menu: pan-seared scallops wrapped in crispy pancetta, minted pea purée and topped with baby cilantro. The flavors and textured very well together — fresh, satisfying, delicious.
Now, onto that Sunday roast (HK$299). This is what we came for.
Guests can pick one of five options for that meaty centerpiece: a Bife de Ancho (a 200g ribeye marbled steak), Bife de Chorizo (a 200g sirloin with a strip of crackling), a spatchcock chicken marinated with oregano and parsley, a pan-seared and oven-baked sea bass fillet, and a hoisin and orange-glazed confit pork belly.
All options are served with roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and rocket salad, and a homemade Yorkshire pudding.
We decided to go with the sirloin and the pork. The steak, which we ordered medium-rare, was excellent: juicy, tender, flavorful. No additional sauces or condiments necessary. Although, mustard and horseradish sauce is available for those who want it.
The pork belly, however, really stood out — the winning meat of our Sunday night dinner. Juicy and soft, coupled with that crispy skin… to die for. And, the hoisin and orange glaze was a nice Hong Kong twist on a British classic. We just wished there was one more slice of pork on the dish.
As for the sides, the carrots and parsnips were nicely flavored with the right amount of salt and black pepper (and butter, duh — always with plenty of butter). The side of rocket leaves was a nice addition to balance out the sweetness of the carrots.
One complaint on the side dish front? More potato, please. Each plate only gets half a potato. Potato is key in Sunday roasts, so maybe we’ll just have to re-adjust our expectations for next time.
The item that might be a bit hit-and-miss for some, however, is their Yorkshire pudding, which was slightly fluffy and cake-like in texture. Indeed, that is what it should be like — but it was the only item on the plate that desperately needed some sauce.
Chimichurri sauce to the rescue? While the Yorkshire pudding did go pretty well with lashings of the chimichurri sauce, we couldn’t help but think: “This is a Sunday roast, damn it!” That Yorkshire pudding would have been a lot better with gravy. This lack of gravy might be the one detail to upset those who are particularly protective of the traditional Sunday roast.
Alas. On to the desserts, then.
The most popular dessert on the menu, we’re told by staffers, is the dulche de leche cheesecake (HK$108), served with a small pot of hot salted caramel to pour on top, and a toasted marshmallow on the side.
It’s very rich, both in taste and texture — incredibly sweet, and possibly a bit on the heavy side after a hefty roast dinner. Even the salted caramel sauce wasn’t quite salty enough to balance out the overwhelming sweetness of the cheesecake and marshmallow.
For those who fancy a more boozy dessert, we’d suggest the Don Pedro (HK$98), whipped ice cream and walnuts with Jameson’s whisky. Not too heavy — it’s effectively a drink — and a nice way to round off the evening.
Gaucho’s Sunday roast is only available on Sunday evenings, from 6pm-10pm. At HK$299 per person, it does indeed sound pretty steep, but for the quality of the overall experience and the kind of meat you’re getting — it’s pretty worth it, especially if you’re looking for an alternative to the conventional steak and potatoes dinner set.
With its black leather circular booths and four-seater tables, it makes a pretty good spot for a date night or a double date. Ideal for a small group of friends who aren’t planning on tearing up the dance floor in nearby Lan Kwai Fong, and want to keep it quiet, classy, and sophisticated on a Sunday night.
Gaucho is at 5/F, LHT Tower, 31 Queen’s Road Central, Central
+852 2380 8090
MTR: Central, approx. 1 minute walk