He reads OTHER reviews. A review of Cau in Blackheath SE3

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For all of Cau’s stainless steel interior, (I never liked this sort of interior even in the 80s when it became so popular. I’ve given up trying to give it the benefit of the doubt; hindsight has been given the full length of the rope) it is actually remarkably cosy when you’ve found yourself a nice corner. You’d never know you were in a tin can.

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The menu is a little bit patronising: with insightful suggestions like ‘have a small salad on the side, or a larger one as a starter.’ Don’t bother looking at anything other than the steak here. (so to be honest, don’t bother even turning up unless you are feeling rather flush at circa £39 per dish). I recommend the brazen, very unEnglish approach of ordering one steak to share with your table… or take most of it home for tomorrow. After all, a 500kilo steak is rather generous portion for me, even on greedy days.

We went for two rather interesting sounding sharing items and one steak with the intention of sharing all ‘as mains’ and skipping the starter. This was a strategy to pacify the 3/4’s Englishness that makes up me and my husband.

Empanadas (Classic Argentinian street food. Served with a fresh tomato sauce.) of Spanish chorizo and cream cheese Spinach, ricotta and date were lovely. But the deep fried pork belly, that sounded like a wonderfully unhealthy sort of a step up from a deep fried mars bar, fat with extra fat, was kind of slimy.

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We ordered our steak medium. And the staff recommended a nice matching Argentinian wine.
Here is a picture of the inside of our medium steak

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The charming staff admitted the mistake. (Please note, mistake admitting goes A. Very. Long. Way. in reparation and they went so far as to remove the entire meal, to return it to the table. I was impressed by this entirely proper way of fixing a mistake which (along with mistake-admission) you don’t often see. The staff registered we didn’t want a replacement of the deep fried pork belly, but replaced the finished empanadas. I think they must have known about the pork belly.

The steak returned remarkably quickly. We should have been suspicious at this point. But we are optimists. To give the chef his due (and there is not a lot of ‘due’ left now to be given) the newly cooked steak looked positively charcoaled on the outside, but the cooked effect only went about half a centimetre into the 10cm thick steak. The rest was jelly.

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My husband remarked that he had read of this experience on other reviews before coming. I don’t know what to be most disappointed by, the fact that he hid this information from me, or the fact that he reads OTHER reviews.

We didn’t want to go through the return-rigmarole all over again. The steak was edible, although a long way from medium, or even medium rare for that matter and again reparations were offered.

But may I note two things. This was their signature dish. Had we paid the full menu, we would have paid £70, for effectively a three course meal and drinks for one.
Let’s move on.

To churros! ! You’ll know I love churros: fried carbs in sugar. What could be more delicious other than churros with dulce de leche? Which, guess what? Was on the menu. We ordered some to share.

They arrived crisp and oily and … What’s the polite word…? I think the right word might be rare. Now I do know that the ‘how rare is rare’ when it comes to steak can be up for debate, hence us playing it safe and ordering our steak medium. But who has ever heard of rare churros? Dough is either cooked, or not cooked. In this case, it was the latter. Within its crispy interior was liquidy goo. Oh, we turned really English now. When the staff asked how our dessert was, we said…. “Thank you”.

CAU BLACKHEATH
10-12 Royal Parade, Blackheath, London
SE3 0TL

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6 thoughts on “He reads OTHER reviews. A review of Cau in Blackheath SE3

  1. Your pricing of the main items on the menu is very misleading. There are some too end cuts in the 30s but two cuts of sirloin below 20 and the medallions are below 15 for 220g and excellent. The burgers are also good.
    I have been several times and it’s been very good. The service has suffered a few times because it’s very busy and management do need to fix that quickly. But they do resolve problems unlike Bianco 43 in Blackheath which recently has messed things up and doesn’t seem to care.

    • That is true that there are cheaper steaks, however the bill when the steaks were removed from the menu was still pretty steep and not made up of much.
      Pity you found the service poor. As you can see from the blog, I thought that this was pretty high standard.

      • We loved bianco 43 in Greenwich and takeaway service is good but appalling service and attitude on three separate occasions means that ourselves and four other families now boycotting it!

  2. Maybe it was a bad night for them. I’ve been twice and found the steaks to be excellent, cooked correctly and very tasty. My churros were also very good.

    • Possibly yes. Reading other reviews (yes, I’m guilty of that too) there does seem to be changeable quality depending on the day. I’m happy to believe we were there on bad chef day, I just think that given the size of the bill, there should not have been a bad-chef day. It seemed particularly unfair on the very charming staff.

      Glad you got good churros though. Bad churros are very unjust.

  3. I think you’ve been fair here. I had a poor experience; hard sales (trying to push us to order more sides), a very long wait when it wasn’t busy, a forgotten order even when we reminded them and not exceptional quality steak. I think it just comes down to who’s working on the day…but surely one shouldn’t have to rely on luck to experience great food.

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