I’m a newcomer to the steak game. I’ve had plenty of kickass burgers, but I’ve been on the hunt for a year or so for a really good steak. You know, the kind that you just wanna keep eating. The kind that makes you happy to not be eating some prime gammon steak (my favourite) for once.
I was excited to come to CAU because as it focuses on Argentinan steak I hoped they’d manage to convert me. Oh boy did they. I’ll focus first on the main event of the party: the steak itself. I chose for slices off the rump, served in the Brazilian style, where they’re thinly sliced and flash grilled. Every steak I had tried thus far was over done: dry and a chore to eat. No amount of sauce would repair it. However, CAU did not disappoint me. The slices of meat are so tender I was blown away and it pretty much does melt in your mouth. The flavour of the flash grill lingers, so you end up with this great barbecue aroma.
I’m one for chips but I forgot all about it as I ate the steak. It was such a treat and I’d recommend anyone to go there just to try out the meat alone. I also had some of the picada (charcuterie) as well, and this was also on fine form. When it comes to much else in CAU, I’d actually say that this also ties up with wether or not South American/Latina flavours are your thing. The steak cuts aren’t really influenced by it, but dishes such as the sweet potato to the bread basket are influenced by this peppery tomatoey flavour. I love a good bread basket and I was pleasantly taken aback by the aromas that came out eating the loaves they provide.
Their dessert menu two has a decent spread – from classics like ice cream and churros to piña-CAU-la-da pudding. It’s a less boring and sterile menu than might be found elsewhere and I was a big fan of the dulce de leche sauce that came with my churros. It was a welcome change from the same old chocolate.
Certain items are just the same old. Their chips (both chunky and ‘thin’) are by no means remarkable. Having tried both types I’d happily forfeit both as they’re neither crunchy nor fluffy enough to be notable.
However they do serve more interesting items like mussels and squid, both of which taste delicious and are done well enough from a restaurant that does not specialise in seafood. Even the salads have a fun South American twist, with light nacho-like croutons and a colourful mix of vegetables.
Overall, CAU is not a flamboyantly Argentinan restaurant. Its interior is not draped in Argentine colours, there isn’t Latino music in the background etc. By contrast the music is modern and the colour scheme simplistic in black and white. Whilst you might think this is off putting I actually disagree. If gives you time to sit and appreciate the flavours of the food. The décor makes the atmosphere clean and unstifling, allowing you for a calm and pleasant meal.
I hoped CAU would be good, but it was far better than I expected. I went to sleep happily dreaming of my steak and I cannot wait to return.