Cau – St Katharine Docks – Can Gaucho Strike Gold Again?

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Quick Look

  • Price – £20-25 per person with drinks.
  • Menu – Small with few surprises. Expect recognisable dishes with one or two twists.
  • Atmosphere – Contemporary, shiny, but a little cold. It feels a little confused, decor which would not be out of place in a bar or club.
  • Reservations – Book or walk in, it’s up to you.

 

Every now and then an opportunity comes along to break out of my South West London bubble and experience more of what London, and the World has to offer. My most recent brunch was just that opportunity. Soph and I made the long journey from Clapham Junction to Tower Hill looking for Cau in St Katharine Docks.

For those who don’t know Cau is an offshoot of the wildly successful Gaucho Grill. Cau positions itself in the trendy exotic food market, differentiating from the rest by focusing on Argentinian dishes. On finding it in between Cafe Rouge and Tom’s Kitchen in St Katharine Docks I was apprehensive. It’s neighbours were reassuringly full for 12:00 on a Saturday, buzzing and welcoming. Cau on the other hand was empty, and with a black and white geometric interior seemingly uninviting. However we had our reservation and having met up with Ben and Remy the four of us soldiered on in choosing the best table in the place.

We perused the brunch menu, which contained the familiar staples. Eggs Royale, Eggs Benedict, Scrambled Eggs on Toast. The eggs which caught my eye were the Latin Eggs, a delightful sounding mix of avocado, chimichurri, hollandaise and poached eggs. Once we had ordered I grabbed the chance to request a plate of the pancakes with bacon as a sharing dish, it seemed foolish to miss out.

The Food

On arrival the food looked great. The avocados were delicately sliced and peeled cradling the poached eggs and chimichurri whilst balancing on the lightly toasted English muffins. A small drizzle of hollandaise sauce glistened on the top. I immediately set about snapping photos, a habit I am still trying to cement. Cracking into the eggs proved that they passed the first test, the deep orange yolk cascaded down the avocado soaking into the muffin below. The first bite was deeply satisfying, the fresh herby flavours of the chimichurri were powerful but did not drown the egg and avocado. They complemented each other gallantly, making for a welcoming fresh alternative to the much richer, saltier Eggs Benedict and Eggs Royale.

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Latin Eggs with Chimichurri, Avocado, Hollandaise and an English Muffin

On scraping my plate clean I began portioning out the pancakes. Sweet, soft and stodgy they were a nice change of subject. However the heavy texture and mildly under-crispy bacon stopped these making a splash. They were satisfying but ultimately forgettable.

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Pancakes, browned and glistening with Maple Syrup. It is a shame they didn’t live up to this picture.

A short review today, but it was a short meal so it seems apt. Cau provides a perfect place to stop and eat unthreatening food with a twist which can delight but it fails to push the boundaries. It has an opportunity to bring something unique and exciting to a mass market but it has played it safe, which is a shame. I had a great time at Cau on a sunny Saturday but the majority of that was down to the people I was with and the fact that it was 12:00 and I was yet to eat.

I would go back. Cau is good value and a restaurant where I am sure I would find something decent on the menu to satisfy me on any occasion, but would I shout it’s name from the rooftops? Unfortunately it doesn’t warrant that much.

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