Directions: The restaurant is located in the Veggy's supermarket buildingPhone: (+84) (0)24 37186 99
The most expensive meal I've had in Hanoi. Probably worth it, but I do leaving saying, "probably" for some reason. The steak itself is great and makes it easy to forgive other sins, but non-steak items tend to be underwhelming. Atmosphere has been a bit stuffy the few times I've been. I kind of what my steakhouses to be the sort of place that you go for an upscale meal that isn't fine-dining and which has some swagger or life anyway. I can see how this is five-star all the way for some, but something just doesn't quite leave me fully satisfied.
Great atmosphere, possibly to make up for the terrible service and expensive food.
Went there for dinner and ordered 1 steak medium which came well done. Also I ordered the salmon which was overcooked and freezer burnt on 1 side and raw and slimy on the other. The waitress cut the reheated baked potato right through the foil embedding it with shards of aluminum and therefore rendering it inedible and although I can't be certain, the hollandaise sauce tasted like a packet mix or commercial bottle. The red wine was freezing too. The waitress asked us how the dinner was and I mentioned it wasn't that great. She smiled and said "okay". The M-D personally greeted all of the other customers but sensed we weren't happy so chose to avoid us. I left my entire dinner and no one bothered to ask why I had paid almost 700k for an untouched meal.
Filled out the feedback form accordingly still waiting for a response....this happened in January.
And for those of you who wonder why I ordered Salmon in a steak restaurant...I say, if it's on the menu it should be good.
My wife and I went here for Christmas Eve dinner. My first impression upon entering the upstairs dining room was of the large number of tables occupied by groups of gentlemen attacking mammoth chunks of beef whilst discussing the four Fs (football, females, fishing, firearms - not necessarily in that order). This is definitely a good place for blokes to catch up and talk bloke talk, but could also be a nice family venue. It was a tad noisy, so maybe not ideal for a romantic date.
So, onto the food. For starters, we ordered the beef soup, salsichia and carpaccio. The salsichia (not sure if I've got the spelling correct), is a spicy sausage. I'm assuming it's a Spanish variation of the Italian salsiccia, but there's not much similarity between the two, other than that they're both quite spicy. The Spanish version is meatier, thinner, uncured and not as fragrant as its Italian counterpart. Tasty enough, though. The carpaccio was wonderfully soft and tender, however I think they overdid the parmesan cheese topping, which got in the way of the delicate flavour of the meat somewhat. The beef soup was more like a light stew - simple but hearty and would be very welcome indeed if you'd just come in from the cold. A bowl of that with some crusty bread would make a fine lunch.
And onto the highlight of the meal; the steak. This is ordered by weight (from 200g up to 1kg for some), cut (tenderloin, NY strip sirlon etc) and quality (choice, Angus, up to wagyu). I'm not sure, but I think the beef they serve is Australian. Which is a little disappointing if so - surely an Argentinian steakhouse should serve Argentinian beef, no? However, I may be wrong on this point. Steak here isn't cheap - the smallest piece of the cheapest cut will set you back half a mil plus VAT. We ordered a queen cut of what's described as the El Gaucho Rib, weighing in at 450g, to share. The steak was tender, but the flesh was not quite as tasty as the steak I had at Jackson's steakhouse. Still very good, though, and seasoned well.
In my experience, steak in Hanoi is cooked one notch under what it should be. So, if you'd normally order rare, you need to ask for medium rare. If you normally order blue, ask for rare. And so on. However, this isn't the case at El Gaucho. I prefer my steaks blue and so I ask for rare when in Hanoi, but She Who Must Be Obeyed likes hers cooked a little more, so we ordered medium rare because we wanted it rare. However, at El Gaucho, when you ask for medium rare, you get medium rare. Which meant our steak was slightly overdone for our tastes. But that's hardly the fault of the restaurant - they cooked it as requested. Next time I go there I'll know not to adjust my steak preferences for Hanoi conditions. The two guys next to us ordered two (hugely thick) steaks - one was medium-rare, the other rare - I knew because of the little flags affixed. I could see that both were cooked precisely to order.
Another thing I should mention is that even though our steak was supposed to weigh 450g, it actually looked substantially heavier than that. And all around our table I saw people tucking into huge pieces of beef. No one had a steak that looked like it weighed anything close to 200g. Now perhaps they all ordered big steaks. However I think this unlikely. More likely is that El Gaucho's steaks are generously proportioned - significantly moreso than listed on the menu. Which, if true, is definitely a notch in favour of the restaurant!
We ordered a Chimichurra (again, spelling?) side sauce to go with the steak, but this was underwhelming. I'm not sure if that sauce is supposed to be capsicum-flavoured oil, but that's pretty much what it was. You're supposed to, what? Pour the oil over the steak? No thanks. I left it. It was expensive, too, for what you got - 60,000+VAT.
Sides were fairly comprehensive but nothing special. We ordered chips and sauteed onions. Nothing to write home about - or complain about, either.
I wasn't particularly interested in anything on the winelist - not enough from the Antipodes for my tastes - but seeing as though it was Christmas Eve, I wanted to splash out a bit. I nicked next door to Red Apron and bought an (excellent) bottle of pricey Australian shiraz. Corkage at El Gaucho was VND400,000 a bottle. This was the most I've ever paid for corkage in Hanoi, however I guess this is not unreasonable. They want you to order from their winelist, not bring your own. However, I will say that their winelist is rather overpriced. The cheapest bottle of wine available is VND600,000 plus 10% VAT. I've seen this same bottle retailing for VND220,000. That's verging on an overly hefty markup.
Even though this place is new and kinks in service could be expected, I found it to be efficient and friendly, despite the fact it was a full house.
Going on my first experience of the place, El Gaucho is a worthy addition to Hanoi's dining scene. It's not a cheap meal out, but definitely should be on your shortlist when you want to pamper your inner carnivore.
We went to El Gaucho last week and had some truly excellent food. One of the best steaks I've ever had, in fact. Our experience was ruined by the terrible atmosphere of the restaurant.
We were a small family group and our table was in between two groups of loud, drunk men, getting louder and drunker. After taking our order and telling us the way we wanted our steaks cooked (medium-well) was wrong, our waiter then spent the rest of the night ignoring us in favour of the tables on either side. He was even drinking on the job - taking shots and downing wine with the men next door - very unprofessional.
After we finished our dinner, they halfheartedly offered us dessert and brought the menu. It took close to 15 minutes to drag the waiter away from his buddies at the next table so he could take our order.
So the service wasn't particularly good, but it can be excused. What can't be excused is the way the men at the next table objectified and hit on one of the waitresses - if these men did the same to a waitress at home, the manager would have removed them from the restaurant, but not here. At El Gaucho, the other waiters seemed to join in on victimising the poor woman. We were disgusted by this behaviour and in retrospect we should have complained to the western manager.
Lastly, I would say this place is quite overpriced. You don't really get good value for money - you don't need to pay $50 for a good steak in Hanoi, especially one that doesn't even come with sauce or sides.
Can't say we'll be back in a hurry.