On your first birthday you don’t normally host a traditional Argentinian asado (that’s a BBQ to me and you) but then again, the Restaurant Club, who has just celebrated their one year anniversary, aren’t like any other one year olds I know. On one of the hottest days of the year, it seemed as though Kate and Louisa, founders of The Restaurant Club, had been given a heads up as they decided to host a gorgeous asado on Gaucho Hampstead’s outdoor terrace.
The Restaurant Club started life as a Facebook group, set up by food and travel writer Louisa Walters, which was a place for London food enthusiasts to share experiences about different restaurants they had tried out. The emphasis was then, and still remains, on smaller, independent restaurants. Very soon, restaurants started to notice surges in attendance due to the ever growing Restaurant Club Facebook group. At 20,000 members, Louisa brought restaurant enthusiast Kate Posener into the business and together they set up a loyalty card scheme- think Tastecard but with specially handpicked restaurants, suggested by London’s keenest foodies. With the loyalty card, diners get up to 50% off at nearly 200 of London’s best independent restaurants which have all been vetted by the Restaurant Club team. The Restaurant Club’s website is beautifully designed and easy to use, with handy categories like ‘Doggy Friendly’, ‘Pre/Post Theatre’, ‘Midweek Treat’ and ‘Worth Getting Dressed Up For’ to name a few.
Gaucho was the perfect location for the Restaurant Club’s first birthday celebration – although it is a chain, the restaurant has not lost its soul – which is exactly the type of establishment you find in the list of Restaurant Club participating restaurants; you could tell that each piece of exquisite steak or sausage was cooked with finesse by the wonderful Master Griller, Fernando Larroude. Beautifully fresh tuna ceviche, divine empanadas, exquisitely cooked pieces of different cuts of steak and Gaucho’s own sausage all featured at the asado (as well as on the regular menu) and were accompanied wonderfully by different wines, as suggested by Gaucho’s Director of Wine, Phil Crozier. Dessert was either a dulce de leche ice cream, or a Malbec sorbet (for the more adventurous attendees!)
Congratulations to the Restaurant Club on its first birthday. If the success of the past year is anything to go by, I expect that there will be many more birthday celebrations to come.
The Restaurant Club have an offer for TMM readers which allows you to get a Restaurant Club card for just £10 (normally £30). Just use the code GAUCHO20 at checkout. Code expires 31 July 2017.
Written by Angelica Bomford.