Gaucho is one of those restaurants; makes me feel slightly out of place, but as soon as I start on the food, everything feels right and the effort is worth it.
However, I didn't go to Gaucho with any bias in my mind, because business lunches are a category that can easily let you down, even from the best of kitchens.
What I wanted
A business lunch is a meal that is not too heavy, but doesn't skimp on what the offerings of the restaurant are in various courses. It should also be reasonably priced, at least in comparison to a dinner, brunch or weekend lunch. The most important factor for me is having choices, and not too much either; thin lines but very important lines.
As soon as my colleague and I walked in, we were greeted by the the familiar sense of quiet luxury that is Gaucho. Quite a few tables were occupied (more than I expected) on a working day, during work hours.
The first thing I liked about the menu was the fact that it was neat, packaged into sections with enough variety to intrigue us, while not enough to confuse anyone.
We were on a semi-health streak, and the menu offered options for both indulgence and moderation.
These options included a broccoli base pizza and a saffron chicken broth as starters. Both were well received at our table, and had decent portion sizes for us to enjoy the food while not filling us up too soon. Other starter options were crayfish and avocado or beef empanadas.
The main course options were Gaucho's signature - steak sirloin, a burger, spinach cannelloni and poached salmon salad. Quoting my colleague, "The steak was so good that I didn't want to supplement it with the side (a fresh salad) at all".
I couldn't quite say the same for my burger and fries, because while the burger was amazing, French fries are life, and the whole meal was delicious.
While we did try to forgo dessert (our health-streak almost, but not quite forgotten), the interesting choices deserved a taste. My friend went for the pineapple carpaccio with lemon sorbet, and I chose the obviously decadent option, chocolate brownie and ice cream. Needless to say, it was the worthy kind of calories to binge on. The dessert section also featured a chocolate pot with blueberries.
We, I, loved it. It is a business lunch worth spending on, not just because of the food quality and taste, but for the fact that Gaucho delivers, even when you only have an hour to sit down, and that too, an hour usually devoted for productive discussions.
Location Gaucho, Gate Village 05, DIFC Cost Dh140 for two course and Dh175 for three courses (extra cost for beverages) Contact