OPENED just two years ago, El Gaucho Argentinian Steakhouse has proved a roaring success with Bangkok’s growing legions of meat-lovers. It’s also left many competitors wondering how they can emulate its winning formula.
Owned and managed by the indefatigable Dany Himi – that is, when he’s in Bangkok and not overseeing his other same-named restaurants in Vietnam – El Gaucho really has got it right on all fronts. Take the location, on the corner of Sukhumvit 19, a few steps from the BTS Asoke station and next to Terminal 21.
Then there’s the restaurant’s extraordinary buzz, generated by a combination of clever interior design, friendly lighting, Latino music, attentive and efficient staff, and great acoustics that reflect the excitement of an all-action restaurant without impinging on conversation. Little wonder the general manager of a nearby hotel said after his first visit to El Gaucho he’d tell his staff to go and learn a few useful lessons from this restaurant.
But more than anything, of course, it is El Gaucho’s cuisine that continues to attract packed houses.
Despite describing itself as an Argentinian steak restaurant, El Gaucho sources its meat from Australia and the US, which is displayed in all its meaty glory, cleaned and trimmed, in a refrigerated cabinet on the ground floor. Choose your preferred cut and the chef will throw it onto the piping hot barbie just behind. If you’d prefer to take the meat home and cook it yourself, then the chef will wrap it up for you.
To its credit, El Gaucho prices its famed wagyu prime plus exactly the same as when the restaurant first opened – B2,990 baht for 200g. Other meats, including the rib eye, prime filet and New York striploin are similarly little changed.
El Gaucho is a breathtakingly efficient restaurant, and this is reflected in the menu; everything you could possibly want in a steakhouse has been covered. Aside from the mighty steaks, there’s a choice of lamb chops and lamb shank for B1,190 and B990 respectively, along with pork, chicken, chorizo and salchicha. Alternatively, sample the lot on a skewer or in a mixed grill. You might even want to try a burger made from 100% Wagyu beef.
Seafood choices include scampi, snow fish, salmon and Pacific dory. There’s also a good selection of pastas, plus some vegetarian dishes.
The restaurant has a good-sized cellar of wines from Europe and South America starting at B1,450 for a bottle, with selected wines by the glass for B290.
Starters include Lobster and crab meat soup, Wild mushroom Empanada and home-made Chorizo. Also, try the Beef Limone – grilled thin slices of New York striploin steak; Rib Eye with lemon and olive at only B590, or Beef steak Tartar at B790.
The restaurant has three seating options: The outdoor terrace, the ground floor bar for eating and drinking, and the main upstairs dining area, which overlooks Sukhumvit. There’s also a nicely appointed private room for about 16.
The restaurant opens from 11am and stays open late.
El Gaucho. Sukhumvit Soi 19, Sukhumvit Rd
Tei: 02 255 2864-l