Do we really need another steakhouse?
I’ll answer the question at the very end of this feature, but together, let’s consider the following points: Steakhouses will always have a special place in all our food loving hearts. Just the mention of steak conjures images of dining rooms aglow with golden lights, crisp white tablecloths, plush seating, the waitstaff efficient and professional in their uniforms, and most of all, the aromas of sizzling premium meat wafting through the restaurants.
We grew up with these memories, and steakhouses always take us on sentimental journeys, reminiscing on all those occasions with our most beloved family and friends. Steakhouses? They’re always special.
There are many different kinds of steakhouses. From the legendary Casa Marcos and Mario’s of yore to the newer chains of Wolfgang’s and House of Wagyu. So why another? Each of those mentioned has their own charms, but none are quite like the newest kid on the steakhouse block, El Gaucho. It’s unique in so many ways: it’s an Argentinian-style establishment, so the meats are all cooked on a fiery, one-of-a-kind grill.
El Gaucho’s owner is very much like the South American cowboys that are the namesake of the restaurant, but he’s a native of Israel whose first successful business ventures weren’t in food, but in fashion. However, our hero, Dany Himi, is a steak connoisseur through and through, and when he ventured into the restaurant arena a decade ago, he once again found a niche, and over the past 10 years, set up what’s now become a truly global brand.
El Gaucho has branches in Vietnam, Thailand, and Hong Kong in Asia; Slovakia and Germany in Europe. And just two months ago, it opened its first Philippine outpost in the Trump Tower in Makati. The second El Gaucho will open in the BGC in 2020.
El Gaucho is one of the most stunning restaurants in Metro Manila. Its interiors, to say the least, are dramatic. From the beautiful bar area with bright bulbs raining down, to the in-house take-home deli, to the walls of wine and liquor that catch the eye, all the way to the dramatic private dining room, its ambiance sets the stage for an unforgettable meal.
And the steaks are glorious. The New York Striploins, the Filets, and the bestselling Ribeyes. The T-Bones and Porterhouses and Tomahawks. All at the pinnacle of their ageing, grilled to your desired doneness (medium rare please!) on El Gaucho’s bespoke grill that maintains and accentuates the original flavors of the naturally raised meat.
Here’s an insider’s tip: this restaurant has the most awesome Lamb Chops I’ve had in a long, long time. Have the grilled to medium, and order at least two chops per person. Trust me. You may actually want to order even more. In other words, come for the steaks, stay for the chops!
The service is at El Gaucho is at par with the world’s best. It is, after all, well established in six countries. When you visit, look for my friend, the restaurant manager, Eli Ben Hur. Tell him I sent you, and he and his staff will take care of your every wish and whim, and at the end of your meal, he will happily pour you a shot or two of El Gaucho’s signature digestif: ice cold Belvedere vodka infused with divine Caramel! It really is the best way to end a wonderful steakhouse dinner… or lunch.
So, to answer my own question above: do we really need another steakhouse, one like El Gaucho? When it’s able to set its own agenda and establish a niche as the most entertaining and enjoyable steakhouse in the country? Yes, absolutely yes!!!