The newest eatery to open its doors in the Capital’s ‘cuisine quarter’ is Gaucho, the celebrated Argentinian steak restaurant chain. With 16 restaurants across the UK, the St Andrew Square venue is the company’s first Scottish location.
Gaucho Edinburgh will open on Saturday 11 November, with a menu packed full of the best of Argentinian food and drink.
Traditional Argentinian cuisine
At the centre of Gaucho’s menu is top quality beef, sourced from Argentinian Aberdeen Angus cattle.
The restaurant is involved with over 60 farms in Argentina, where the cattle is still selected in the traditional way by gauchos (cowboys) on horseback.
Diners can choose from a range of signature prime cuts (including ‘lomo’ fillet, ‘chorizo’ sirloin, and ‘ancho’ rib eye), cooked to perfection on the restaurant’s custom-made grill.
The grill, which is specially designed for Gaucho, replicates an Argentinian asado – a traditional family-style barbecue.
“We stick closely to the provenance of Argentina,” explains chef director, Jamie Robertson.
“We use some modern techniques and equipment, but we’ve still got all the classics on the menu, such as empanadas, in addition to the beef.”
Gaucho have added a touch of Scottish influence to the menu for their Edinburgh restaurant, with dishes like haggis empanadas, as well as whisky-based sauces to accompany the steaks.
Working with local suppliers
Sourcing top quality produce is a key concern for the Gaucho team.
Their beef is sourced from free range cattle, allowed to roam freely on the Argentinian Pampas, and graze on 17 different types of grass.
Gaucho have also worked closely with local Scottish suppliers to help shape the menu for the new restaurant.
“There’s a bigger buzz for local suppliers up here compared to London,” notes Robertson, who joined Gaucho in 2012 after working alongside celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver.
“A lot of time and effort is put into what they do – it’s as much a case of them selecting us as us selecting them.”
Diners can expect to see produce from local suppliers, such as Shaws Quality Meats and I.J Mellis Cheese, on the menu.
A destination bar and restaurant
As well as a luxurious restaurant with space for 120 diners, Gaucho Edinburgh will also have a destination bar area and a private dining room.
The bar, located on the ground floor, also has an outdoor seating area.
“We want it to be aspirational but also accessible,” explains Matt Ford, Gaucho’s marketing director.
“People can come in for a cocktail and some food at the bar, they don’t have to be here for a 500g steak and a bottle of Malbec,” he adds.
As well as a newly created cocktail list, the bar will also stock over 80 kinds of whisky and 200 Argentinian wines.
Phil Crozier, the company’s wine director, is personally involved in the creation of many of the wines, including the Vina Patricia and Loro labels, which are produced at Gaucho’s own vineyard in Mendoza.
Foodie connoisseurs can even take part in regular masterclasses, held in Gaucho’s private dining room, such as chocolate and Malbec pairings, beef and wine tastings and – a new addition for Edinburgh – whisky and cheese masterclasses.
Coming to Edinburgh
“We’ve had our eye on this site for a long time,” reveals Ford.
“There are lots of great restaurants nearby, and competition is a good thing.” Gaucho coming to Edinburgh is a homecoming for chef director, Robertson, who is originally from Bonnyrigg.
“I’m enjoying the opportunity to create exclusive dishes for our new Edinburgh restaurant that celebrate and fuse the provenance of Argentinian beef with Scotland’s enviable natural larder,” says Robertson.
Interestingly, the company’s Argentinian roots are also closely tied to Scotland, and always have been. Today, all Argentina’s Aberdeen Angus are direct descendants of the original Scottish cattle, introduced to the country in 1879.
“It made sense, as our beef originates from Scotland, but we also wanted to come to Edinburgh as it’s such a cosmopolitan city,” explains Ford.
“There’s a fantastic restaurant scene up here. Locals are fiercely loyal, but also very accepting of new and different cuisines.”
Gaucho opens on 11 November at 4a St Andrew Square, EH2 2BD – gauchorestaurants.com
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