On 20 June The Restaurant Club hosted a special evening event at Gaucho in Hampstead to celebrate the first birthday of the fast-growing loyalty scheme and its collaboration with the restaurant. The Gaucho brings a successful taste of Argentina to fashionable Hampstead and has recently undergone a stunning makeover, making it a glamorous place for a celebration.
It was the perfect summer’s evening to enjoy an outdoor charcoal affair on the terrace at Gaucho. On arrival, we were led to the private secluded terrace out back. Bathed in warm early evening sunshine we were warmly greeted by Gaucho’s charismatic beef guru Fernando Larroude and The Restaurant Club founders Louisa Walters and Kate Posener. We were given the choice of mint juleps, crisp white Torrontés and a velvety smooth Malbec, all chosen by director of wine Phil Crozier. Whilst the evening guests of bloggers, journalists and Restaurant Club members were settling and being handed drinks Fernando was preparing the finest authentic meat selection next to the fired up asado. He explained to us that the asado in Argentina is much more than just a way of cooking meat, it is is the national dish and a wonderful social occasion to be enjoyed with friends and family. Platters of canapés made their way around the different groups of people with a selection of Tuna Ceviche with Guacamole and Beef, Smoked Ham & Mozzarella and Humita (sweetcorn and provolone) empanadas.
On the night Fernando cooked up two types of traditional Argentine sausages – Spanish Chorizo Pincho and Argentine Chorizo. Next up was the steak – Churrasco de Cuadril (rump) and Churrasco de Chorizo (sirloin). Just before serving, Fernando bastes the churrasco with chimichurri sauce. There are many recipes for chimichurri but the one at Gaucho is a simple combination of finely chopped parsley, garlic, red pepper, oil and red wine vinegar, and a few flakes of dried sweet chilli. I don’t normally put anything on top of my steaks but this goes amazingly with the beef. It’s a nice kick without overpowering the tastebuds. Dessert was a choice of Dulche de Leche ice-cream or Malbec Sorbet.
It was a pleasure to be part of this wonderful evening full of good wine and food – the kind of food you want to keep coming back for. And it’s great to see the support that The Restaurant Club is providing for independent restaurants and small groups around London. A venture definitely worth while!
More about The Restaurant Club
The Restaurant Club Facebook group was founded by food and travel writer Louisa Walters in 2015. It now has nearly 20,000 London-based foodie members who use the group to request, review and recommend independent and individual restaurants. Restaurants in and around London were noticing a surge in traffic at weekends as a result of having been discovered on the group and saw an opportunity to increase custom at quiet times by offering an incentive to members.
In April 2016 Louisa Walters and restaurant enthusiast Kate Posener launched a loyalty card scheme to connect discerning diners with independent restaurants in and around London, and fill empty seats at quiet times.
Diners pay £30 a year for The Restaurant Club membership card, which gives them up to 50 per cent off in almost 200 independent owner-managed eateries. Contemporary Indians, stylish Italians, super-fresh sushi, tasty grills, posh pubs, artisan bakeries, decadent tea shops, high-end establishments and guilt-free dining are all wrapped up in the scheme, with more venues and more members joining every day. Every restaurant on the scheme has been vetted by Louisa, Kate, or one of their team so diners can be assured they are visiting a quality establishment.
The Restaurant Club also works with a number of caterers and partner organisations such as hairdressers and personal trainers, also offering discounts to our members.
Being part of the scheme is a great way for restaurants to build awareness. They’re listed on the Restaurant Club website and benefit from regular promotion across social media channels and weekly newsletters. It’s totally free for restaurants to sign up.
The Restaurant Club cardholders benefit from 15% off at all times at Gaucho.
Use the code GAUCHO10 for £10 off The Restaurant Club card. (Expires 31st July 2017)