A Taste of Argentina, in London

It’s no secret that I’m kind of in love with the beautifully crazy place that is Argentina, and a huge part of that is the food. There, the food plays an important role in the passionate nature of the Argentine culture. Obviously food always tastes best in its appropriate country, surrounding by the sights, sounds and smells that go together to form that amazing culture.

Sadly, I can’t always pop across the Atlantic whenever I’m in need of a good steak (one day Pip, one day…) so a girl’s got to make do with what she can get. And this week that was pretty bloody awesome. My trusty food tasting sidekick and I tried out Garufin near Holborn (Cat did all the legwork in finding the place, I just showed up and…ate).

The street entrance was unassuming with just a cute flight of stairs taking us down to the basement restaurant. I want to have a staircase like this some day… Gorgeous checkered tiles and surrounded by pictures of adventures from far flung places.

Garufin staircase

Garufin entrance

I’ll be honest, I had my doubts when we were greeted by a somewhat surly seeming waiter but it turned out that was all part of his charm. We had some great discussions about all the difference wines of Argentina (Mendoza wines, my favourite, are so good due to the high altitude apparently) and he brought us plenty of mini samples to try.

We managed to change our minds halfway through ordering leading us to accidentally order a start and the mixed grill to share. Oh well, needs must…

provoleta

Provoleta can be found in all the parillas (grills) across Buenos Aires and is an amazing “pulled-curd” cheese grilled on the asado (BBQ) typically served with bread for dipping, or in this case parsnip fries. I prefer to let it cool down a little before eating as this allows it to set and sweeten a little leading to some serious cheese perfection, as our waiter fully agreed.

Next up, the meat main party.

Garufin mixed grill

It’s very hard to make meat look pretty (or let’s be honest if you’re me, it’s very hard to make most things look pretty) but this was seriously delicious. More grilled cheese, morcilla (the best ever blood sausage), chorizo, grilled red peppers and aubergine, sirloin steak and flank steak. Oh, and chimichurri aka the best sauce ever.

Yes, we cleaned the plate. It was absolutely epic, I cannot even begin. The meat was perfectly juicy (we didn’t even need to ask for it to be done medium rare), the morcilla was on point, the vegetables tasted beautifully grilled and smokey and the cheese party just kept on going.

We didn’t have room for pudding and there was no decaf coffee for us old women but the restaurant seemed perfectly happy to keep topping up our water glasses and let us chatter on with no rush to leave. I’m torn between wanting to return and wanting to ‘research’ all the other Argentine restaurants in London… It’s a tough call.

Have you found a taste of your favourite holiday when back home?

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