Having secured myself a new job on the Hants/Surrey border, a few weeks ago H and I moved down in a car crammed with crap. We were lovingly reunited with our stored possessions as we moved into our rented flat, and ever since I’ve been tentatively contacting people I used to know round here to rekindle some neglected friendships.
One pair of friends with whom we were still in regular contact suggested a restaurant trip to a newish Argentinian steak place in Guildford called Cau. I perused the menu one lunchtime at work, and sold on the idea of churros with chocolate sauce, if not so much so on the steak, we opted for a midweek evening meal and rolled up on a Tuesday.
I’m not a big steak person. As a kid I’d watch my parents order it and think “It’s a piece of meat! Boring!”. As I grew older, I still thought it seemed like a waste. My view was that if you go out for a meal, you should be eating things you couldn’t easily have at home, which usually ruled out steak and ice-cream.
Quite a while ago though I had a minor revelation at the Gaucho Grill in London, where I ate a steak that was beautiful. Suddenly I could see the appeal, and although the prices left me reeling a bit, I decided to venture steakwards a little more often in future. When the timing was right.
We didn’t learn until the end of the meal that Cau was actually a high-street focused little sister of the Gaucho Grill. It was definitely an “aaahhh” moment, where things made perfect sense.
Back to the beginning of the meal, however. The restaurant was very modern, and had these fun swivelling chairs that meant you could spin round to face your table companions with graceful ease. The menu had a large steak section, but also offered salads, burgers and sausages, all of which sounded good.
My first major fail was the fact I didn’t have steak. I was concerned that 8oz of beef might be a bit much, so I opted for a cheese and bacon burger on a brioche bun instead, which our friend K also had. The two blokes went for steak, one which was sliced thinly and cooked for mere seconds, the other, a thick rib-eye.
They were both amazing. Tender beyond belief, salty, moist… my above-average burger seemed dry and tasteless in comparison. We had some salad, fries, and onion and courgette tempura, all of which were well-received.
I should probably mention drinks. K had an apparently-delicious vanilla shake, the blokes shared a mini carafe of a “very nice” Malbec, and I drank tap water. Yep, good ol’ tap water. As I’ve probably said before, I’m a cheap date when it comes to drinks.
And then, of course, desserts. I couldn’t tell you anything that was on the menu beyond churros, as that was all my brain registered.
They were as delicious as they look in the picture. H and I shared a portion, but I could have downed them on my own. As it was I ended up scraping out the last dribbles of sauce in a wistful sort of way.
We have definite plans to return to Cau. Next time I will have steak, and there was a starter of tempura pork belly that sounds like it might be my last meal.