It is Malbec World Day on Friday the 17th and to celebrate this momentous occasion organised by Wines of Argentina, there seemed to be no better way than to provide you with our five favourite Argentinian steak restaurants, in London. Aside from football, steak and Malbec are two of the cultural exports that Brits love and obsess over, and rightly so. Argentineans are the largest consumers of beef per capita in the world according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and their beef is known to be of the highest quality. Malbec, then, the iconic grape of Argentina, naturally walks hand-in-hand with its steak: typically a deep colour, spicy rich and meaty with intense red and black fruit flavours, it marries very well with a juicy, red steak.
“Malbec is the jewel in Argentina’s crown” Gaucho
Originally a varietal from the South West of France, the Malbec grape suffered in 1956 when a severe frost in Bordeaux killed off seventy five percent of the crop. First introduced to Argentina in the 19th Century, it has now adapted magnificently to the conditions and Malbec is now considered by many to be Argentina’s national grape. It can be found in many regions throughout Argentina, though Mendoza, in the west of the country, is its adopted homeland.
“Malbec was originally a grape associated with south-west France but today is much more glorious in South America”. Jancis Robinson
A classic food and wine combination, Malbec and a juicy steak truly is a match made in heaven, and nothing quite beats a good old Argentinian steak and wine night. As much as we’d love to transport you all to Argentina to experience the real deal, we’ll give you the next best thing: the Argentinian experience in London. By the time you’ve got these five excellent restaurants under your belt, you’ll almost be able to smell the Pampas.
Selling purely Argentinian beef, reared on the Argentinian pampas and shipped over chilled rather than frozen, the Gaucho restaurant chain is perhaps the most famous on our list, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. With restaurants all around London, one in both Leeds and Manchester, and even ones in Dubai, Buenos Aires and Hong Kong, this upmarket steak restaurant is hard to beat. Your waiter will take you through the various different cuts of beef on offer (Churrasco de Lomo, Tira de Ancho, Cuadril etc.) before you order the cut best suited to you. With the exception of a list of Champagnes, the entire wine list is Argentinian. Extensive, well-detailed and divided by grape variety, the Malbec section is the most extensive and, no doubt, the most popular. According to OpenTable.com, five of its London locations feature in the top ten most-booked restaurants in the capital - quite a feat. With beef this good, follow the crowd. It’s there for a reason.
See website for contact details for the different branches
2. Santa Maria del Sur
A favourite for locals in the Battersea and Wandsworth area, this Argentinian steak house has a large foodie following. With typical argentine plates such as Morcilla (black pudding) and Provoleta (traditional grilled cheese) as well as the Argentine steaks such as Bife de lomo and Bife de Chorizo, this is a classic Argentine restaurant. Well worth a trip just for the empanadas: delicious!
020 7622 2088
129 Queenstown Road, London, SW8 3RH
3. GarufaThe original London Restaurant from the Argentine trio Alberto Abbate, Gustavo Vazquez and Ernesto Paiva, this North-East London restaurant opened in 2008 and it’s gone from strength to strength. With a comprehensive range of both traditional and modern Argentine cuisine, this restaurant has excellent steaks and also has a selection of other traditional foods on offer. Make sure you order a side of chips – they’re mind-blowingly good and an excellent way to mop up the steak juices.
020 7226 0070
104 Highbury Park, London N5 2XE
4. Casa MalevoThis welcoming, authentic restaurant is the heart of Connaught Village. Sister restaurant to the equally formidable Zoilo, Time Out rave about their sweet breads, and the quality of the Argentinian-bred, grass fed beef is exceptional. Its wine list is entirely Argentinian, and most are available in a 375ml carafe allowing customers to try a variety of different wines on offer. This unique restaurant ensures that your meal is not just about the food, but the whole experience.
020 7402 1988
“Meat rules at this traditional cocina, where slabs of Argentinian-bred, grass fed beef wait to be transformed into sizzling steaks”. Epicure
The parrillada for two is the most popular thing on this menu, and you can understand why. With two steaks, two chorizo sausages (which are made locally according to an Argentinian recipe, and are excellent), morcilla (black pudding) and provolone cheese, you will not be leaving here hungry. The parrillada is placed on your table, so you can carry on cooking your steak to your personal preference (a nice touch for those fussy steak eaters). All that’s needed is to add a bottle of Malbec from the extensive Argentinian wine list, and you could close your eyes and imagine yourself in Palermo, Buenos Aires. One of the more reasonably priced restaurants, this is the one to visit if you fancy an excellent steak but are saving for that summer holiday (why not take a trip to Argentina, we may well join you)…
020 7234 0676
52 Tanner Street, London, SE1 3PH
“Costancia captures the spirit of the pampas”. Fay Machler, The Evening Standard
Toast Malbec World Day this Friday with up to 26% OFF*
our delicious range from Argentina…
"Malbec is just about guaranteed to be gutsy, full-bodied, reliable – and reasonably priced. What's not to like?" Fiona Beckett, The Guardian
*Offer ends midnight 19th April