Cau restaurant sits firmly at the top of Guildford High Street, and is a breath of fresh air to the umpteen amount of Italian restaurants that surrounds it. It’s difficult to imagine Buenos Aires in Guildford but they are certainly giving it a good go.
We visited Cau when it first opened way back when, and after a few visits it had lost its sparkle. Fast forward a year or so, and with a newer menu, we decided to give it another whirl.
With a fun vibrant modern decor, and background tunes with a latin beat that you just can’t help shaking your booty too, you are instantly transported away from the periodic town outside.
Our waitress, albeit a bit pressing to take our order rather than letting us peruse the menu, was smiley and friendly. The service throughout was attentive, polite and they checked we were okay throughout our meal. The only thing that let them down was one of the waiters had a strong body odour, and not a nice one if you catch my drift.
The Argentinian flair certainly shows in the main menu; Chorizio, Chimichurri, Picada and Flatbreads to name a few, Cau have certainly embraced the culture. From Small Plates, to Burgers, to Vegetarian mains, there is something to suit everyone’s palette. As the name would suggest they specialise in all things cow. The steak selection is something else! Lomito, Tira de Ancho, Tapa de Caudal; call me naive but I hadn’t a clue there were such steaks to choose from.
Lomito Open Sandwich – “A lomito fillet, topped with red onion marmalade, tomato, CAUchup, crispy shallots and rocket”, served on Jalapeño bread with your choice of fresh salad, triple cooked chips or fries.
It’s nice to see the burgers and sandwiches now include chips or salad as standard. Delicately placed on a slate board, I never knew an open sandwich could look so sophisticated. Did it taste as good as it looked? Well… it was to-die-for! Juicy, tender, perfectly cooked lomito fillet, rich sticky red onion marmalade, and the crisp shallots, although small, gave an added textured component. I was worried the jalapeño bread would be too overpowering, yet fear not it married perfectly with the other flavours.
Steak menu – Medallions – “The finest, most succulent cuts of lomito, filleted from the centre and grilled”
Served with your choice of fries, triple cooked chips or salad. Sauce? Chimichurri. Cooked? Rare. You know they mean business when they refuse the table next to us request to cook a steak well-done! It did come out looking all sad and lonely on this big white plate, but was beautifully cooked to a perfect rare, this is definitely one premium steak cut. Even without the sauce it’s far tastier than the average sirloin. The triple cooked chips are chunky, crunchy but a little inconsistent, some hard and some with the fluffy inners you’d expect. The sauce was fresh and delicious, and is served in its own little pot so you can have as much or as little as you like.
Sides – you can’t go to Cau and not have Causlaw! Simply put, it’s like coleslaw but better, and boy they aren’t wrong there. Fresh, crisp, a perfect accompaniment to which ever main you choose. Second side – Peas. Now these aren’t just any peas, no no, these are green peas with shallots, mint and a little fresh chilli. Bravo Cau! You have effectively taken the humble pea and made it epic.
Stuffed to the brim we were presented with the dessert menu. Now there is savoury full and then there’s dessert full, thus always room for dessert. The Argentinian flare salsas its way into the desserts with playful puddings such as Churros, Argentinian ice cream and Dulche de Leche.
Cau Cornflake Ice Cream Sundae – “Tempting layers of cornflake-flavoured ice cream, cornflakes, crumbled chocolate brownie and dulce de leche”.
If you can put aside the fact you are eating a dry breakfast cereal, the sundae is scrummy. Who’d have thought you’d get cornflake ice cream, but even more shocking is how moreish it is. The dulce de leche, is a thing of beauty; I’d happily eat that out the jar! The brownie is chocolatey rich deliciousness, it wasn’t crumbled and could just do with being warmed up so you can easily eat it.
Pina Cau-La Da pudding – grilled pineapple drizzled with rum caramel, sorbet and lime
I wanted to love it, I really did, but what a disappointment! I can’t fault the raspberry sorbet, it was like eating a fresh punnet of raspberries. The pineapple however was far too acidic, with a very bitter burnt taste, you really couldn’t eat it, and normally I will eat a whole pineapple without batting an eyelid. When mentioning this their excuse that rum is a very bitter spirit is not going to wash with me I am afraid. I’m not sure what they had done to that poor pineapple and sauce, but what a shame; I wish I’d opted for the Dulche de Leche Pancakes!
Cau doesn’t shy away from being the temple of all things cow. If you have a hankering for meat this is the place to go. Aside from the disappointing dessert we couldn’t fault anything else. You could argue it’s a little pricey here and there, but it is worth it for a treat out, and you know you’re going to get a delicious steak that’s cooked with care and precision. Cau even do their own take on a roast dinner (amazing idea) which looks absolutely delicious, one we are dying to try. Hopefully next time!
To see their menu, nearest location and book a table, visit their website here.
Have you visited Cau? Where’s your favourite place to eat? Please feel free to leave a comment below.
Nibbles ‘n’ Scribbles x