StoneSoup Posted September 5, 2012 Report Share Posted September 5, 2012 Well, this evening I had one of the few US $100 solo dinners that I have ever consumed. I paid a first visit to the El Gaucho Argentinian Steak House on Sukhumvit Soi 19 - pretty much adjacent to Terminal 21 - and sharing the building with the City Lodge Hotel that has been at the same place for twenty years or more. I went early - around 5:30 pm - because I had a meeting on Soi 33/1 at 6:30 pm. There is an outdoor veranda - pleasant enough, depending on the weather. Upon entering the restaurant proper, the ground floor is very small - just a wide sit-down bar, and a meat counter (you can evidently purchase fresh meats to take out). There is the a stairway to the second level. The second level is very stylish - very open, with very high ceiling. There are several distinctive "zones" with different seating arrangements. I sat at an elevated two-person table overlooking Soi 19 - 'very nice view through huge plate glass windows. One VERY unusual thing about this restaurant is that there appeared to be no Thai service staff whatsoever. I spoke to Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, and several Slovakian severs. I literally saw no Thais. Unusual. The servers were very attentive, very pleasant, and very well trained. They gave me a brochure-style menu, a separate beverage menu, a separate wine list menu, and a single page "seasonal specials" page. The specials page was all about US certified Black Angus Beef. The regular menu offered US beef, and also Wagyu beef. The beef is offered in various weights, starting at 250 grams, and going up to 1,000 grams. They offer both US prime, and US choice beef - as well as the Wagyu. Prices ranged from about 1,150 baht for the smallest choice beef cut, up to about 5,000+ baht for the largest Wagyu cut. I ordered a 350 gram US Black Angus Prime filet mignon - I think it was 1,960 baht. Now - here is a mildly bizarre thing: I chose the 350 gram Black Angus Prime filet mignon off the "regular" menu - at 1,960 baht. On the "seasonal menu" card, the 350 gram Black Angus Prime filet mignon was 2,560 baht. EXACT same description. I asked my Slovak server what the difference was. He was at a complete loss for words - and obviously a bit uncomfortable. He mumbled something about the "seasonal menu" - but his comment was just marking time. Realizing that he was not the one who came up with the prices, I did not press the issue. I just told him that I wanted the 350 gram filet mignon off the standard menu - at that price - and not off the specials menu. And - when the bill was presented later - I was charged for the correct selection. I also ordered a side salad, and a lobster and crab meat bisque soup. They automatically brought a piping hot, right from the oven, small loaf of bread with herb butter and relish on the side. For drinks, I ordered a "nam soda" - and ultimately two small bottles of Hoegaarden beer. My total bill came to 3,100 baht and change - including a 10% service fee, and VAT. I ordered my steak cooked medium. It was about 5 cm thick, and quite large - I have to think more than 350 grams. I would judge the actual delivered result to be medium rare, on the rare side. But - it was tender and delicious. I would have to say it was the best steak I've had in Bangkok - living here 12 years. My previous "best steaks in Bangkok" were at the Madison Grill at the old Regent Hotel, and the steaks at Bradman's on Soi 23, back about 2008-2009 (before they changed meat suppliers). In serving me, they placed a quite hot plate in front of me first, and then transferred the steak from a metal broiling dish/plate to my plate. The steak had very open-textured grain to it - something I have not seen in about 15 years - it was loose and tender - aged very well, and perfectly grill-charred. I really liked the place. But - there is no way that I can afford to eat there, except once in a blue moon (which was last week!). I cannot see getting out of there for much less than about 2,000 baht. And - if you want, you can easily spend 7,000 or 8,000 baht for a premium meal. Cheers! SS Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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