With my hen do this weekend coming I had every intention of having a ‘quiet one’ on Saturday, but instead I accepted an invitation to a bloggers event at Gaucho. The coveted Electro Brunch – a weekly all you can eat and drink thrill ride – has been on my ‘to do’ list since I visited the restaurant for the Beef and Malbec Masterclass, so it was a no brainer I’d be there. With the promise of free-flowing cocktails and 13 sweet and savoury small plates to feast upon, it’s fair to say I was excited.
It’s well documented I love brunch. This in part is because it’s the only time it’s socially acceptable to get smashed at breakfast – excluding Christmas Day, at the airport, and at festivals.. or me before a university exam circa 2006. (A story for another time..) Entering through the double doors at 11am, I felt the same rush of excitement I’d enjoyed at my first visit return. The inticing wafts of beef cooking, the beautiful decor, the (inhumanly) attractive staff; everything’s just that little bit more special at Gaucho.
The restaurant itself is undeniably impressive to behold, with plush furnishings and light fittings that probably have their own Pinterest page. With the earthy colour palette, and clusters of white lights arranged on pillars like leaves on trees, I like to think of this place as an enchanted forest. I love that it’s hidden away from view – there are no windows – and it has a sense of understated opulence.
After being seated we kick started the two hour brunch with pastries and dulce de leche peanut butter (this stuff is heavenly) and enjoyed the melodic music. The atmosphere was relaxed, helped by the restaurant being fairly dimly lit, which was most welcome considering my hangover. The deal is simple: for £45 you can eat and drink as much as you like over two hours.
Served by the glass (as with all of the brunch drink options you can only have one drink at a time) the Domaine Chandon is a sparkling Argentine wine with a crisp finish; a nice change from the usual prosecco found at most weekend brunches.
During our visit we also tried the signature Gaucho Bloody Mary, a vibrant breakfast cocktail combining Stolichnaya Gold Vodka, fresh tomato juice, chimichurri, citrus, and Tabasco for spice. These could be made to spec, with Ian opting for a spicer upgrade. Speaking of cocktails, I enjoyed many an Aperol Spritz during our brunch; a great drink menu addition!
Like the drinks, plates of food are ordered one at a time. Offering small taster plates rather than full meals, the pick and mix idea here is to order a few to try over the two hours. Most dishes are savoury, with a predictable but welcome emphasis on meat and eggs, although there are two sweet options for a sugar kick: Banana Pancakes, and French Toast.
Over the course of the session we tried many of these plates; some were more interesting than others but all were tasty. Personal favourites included the Gaucho Benedict (a twist on the classic dish using salt beef instead of pork), the Choripan Sandwich (combining spicy chorizo sausage and flavourful chimichurri), and the Steak and Eggs (Churrasco de cuadril with a perfect fried egg). In all dishes the meat was well cooked, tender and delicious.
The Chorzio Beans were deliciously earthy with a hint of spice too, but the hidden gem on the menu is actually the Provoleta. Coming with a healthy dollop of sweet onion jam, I went back for seconds of this fried gooey cheese.
As well as alcoholic options guests can also find two refreshing vegetable and fruit juices, including Apple Gone Loupe, combining apple, melon and mint. I finished my meal with this juice and the pancakes, and it was a delicious sweet end to a nice brunch.
A positive experience for sure and I can see why it’s so popular. I particularly like the choice of drinks, as many places just force endless prosecco on you which gets boring pretty quickly. The plates are small, so you do end up spending a lot of the time seemingly ordering items; a small gripe, considering the quality, taste and choices available. At £45 the Electro Brunch isn’t the cheapest in the city, but it doesn’t deserve or want to be. You’re not just paying for the food and drink, you’re paying for top notch service and the overall experience. And that experience is quite brilliant, actually.
Gaucho, 55 Colmore Row, Birmingham, B3 2AA
*Disclosure: I was invited to try the Electro Brunch at Gaucho as a guest of Red Kite PR. All opinions, photos and overeating smugness remain my own. You can read more in detailed info about Gaucho itself via my previous post*