Monday, 20 September 2010

Garufa and Still Turning Down Baby Sitting Duties

The good thing about being away for 10 weeks, well apart form being away for 10 weeks, was getting to meet up with lots of people upon my return.
One of the first we met up with was Lina’s cousin, his soon-to-be-wife and their little or now not so little baby Emma. She had grown. Last time I saw her she was a tiny two month old insect. Now she is a large seven month old eating machine.
Her parents have taken on some new ideas to heart. They basically feed her what ever they are eating. And I mean anything.
I was joking when I suggested Garufa, saying that it was about time that she started on her first steak. Little did I realise that she was an old hand at this. I was disappointed that she hasn’t mastered the knife and fork yet, but she certainly showed her love of a lovely medium rare piece of steak.

After 10 weeks of eating really nothing but curries in one form or another. Ranging from those lovely south Indian fiery curries in Oman to the watery ones in Bhutan, I have been in craving everything but spiced food.
I’d been thinking a lot about Argentina as a friend was telling us spring had nearly arrived there and he was getting ready to wear his sandals everyday. To say Lina was slightly upset was an understatement. She is still clinging to summer like a crazed person.
But it got me thinking, and I got to craving milansesa. A dish that Gonzi had got me addicted to way back when in Buenos Aires. It was probably this that got me eating katsu curry in the Tokyo Diner the night before.
Obviously the katsu wasn’t enough for me and I wanted that milanesa in Garufa. I needed that milanesa.

We’d tried to eat at Garufa earlier this year, but it was a Friday or Saturday night and they were busy, and we hadn’t made a reservation. So we ate elsewhere. For some reason after that we never got round to going back, plus me being away on hotel inspections for 10 weeks. Well now we had an excuse.
The menu at Garufa is pretty standard Argentinean restaurant in London. They have their cuts of meats, bife ancho, bife de chorizo, lomo and cuadril. All these come with a side of salad or chips.
They also have their mixed parilla, which comes with an assortment of meats, sausages, black pudding and a portion of provolone cheese. A must for any parilla. Normally the provolone cheese is for the veggie that always turns up to an asado in someone’s house.
Ordering was pretty simple 3 bife de chorizo all medium rare, 2 side orders of chips, and my milanesa, which came with chips. Plus a pre order of provolone cheese, moron asado (grilled red peppers) and a couple of what turned out to be very dainty empanadas.
It’s took me a week or so to calm down over the empanadas. They were titchy, and I have to say not that good. The meat one lacked real flavour, plus it was fried. The locro (sweetcorn) one was just so so. The corn needed the creaminess of a Tucuman empanada. Plus as I said they were really small, and at £5 for two. Not very happy. I have to say Lina could and should make them for the restaurant. Hers are so much better. This was the low point of the meal.
The provolone cheese was really nice. It had been grilled over the coals and came in a dish to be shared, as all good food should be. Equally good were the peppers. Nicely charred and drowning in olive oil. Fantastic for the bread to soak it all up.
But the star of the show was the mains. My milanesa was a flattened rump that had been breaded and nicely fried was the size of my plate. The chips were knock down gorgeous. I wish some chippies would do chips this good. Lovely and crispy.
The steaks all 300 grams, were just awesome. Unfortunately I only got to eat a little, as my wife was enjoying hers too much to share. Even with me offering her vast quantities of Milanese. She wouldn’t budge. But I did get a small taste, and it was juicy and the taste of the charcoal came through in bounds.

Since I haven’t eaten a steak since god knows when, this was top of the shop by a long way. Prob the best since we left Argentina. Even better than the disappointing one we had in New York.  Actually that doesn’t count as we had it at Newark airport.
All in all it was a really good meal, and since we only live 5 minutes away up the hill I think Garufa is going to be on our list as our local. Especially as the have choripan for £5. Life is good huh?
The other star of the show was definitely Emma. Our 7 month old eating machine. The only thing she never ate was my milanesa, as she wasn’t willing to swap her steak with me. I’ve never witnessed a baby eat so much food, and none of it was puréed. I always pitied my nephews having to at that junk they were given as kids. These new fangled ideas on how to bring up babies seem to be pretty good.

We also seem to be pretty good at still managing to turn down baby sitting duties. I’m not so sure how many times we can claim that she is too small for us to look after. Emma will one day be forced upon us for the night. Until then we enjoying our baby free life. 

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