I am not going to bullshit you. I know squat all about Argentina. Except maybe the song ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’. The Madonna version. Yah, you know the song. It’s probably playing in your head right this moment.
But putting my obvious boganism aside and presenting my curious appetite front and centre, I attended a invite-only dinner at the recently opened London Porterhouse to see what the fuss was about with Argentinian food. Oh, and wine.
What greeted us upon arrival was a gorgeously laid long table set close to facilitate conversations and food sharing. Even better, was being greeted by a chilled glass of the sparkling Arido Moscato. I like moscato, even though some can be ridiculously teeth-numbingly sweet. This one wasn’t and made for a very smooth first evening drink as we waited to get started.
London Porterhouse is inspired by the Argentinean ethos that eating, drinking and most importantly life are there to be enjoyed. General Manager Mercedes McVeigh and Chef Mark Maric have created a space in Teneriffe and menu that can bring friends, family (and lovers) together for a leisurely drink or a chat over a meal.
Mark introduced the menu, which is centered around locally grown and sourced produce cooked in a traditional South American way. This of course means lots of meat, but there were definitely other simple dishes to keep the conversations going and had plenty of fingers reaching across the table.
Meat coma is the most appropriate way to describe the grilled meat platter. This generous serving of pasture fed rib eye fillet, chorizo, spatchcock, quail, pork ribs, lamb ribs and lamb cutlets easily served 4 full-grown carnivores and much of the moist meat came already pre-cut for easy munching.
Oh, and the grilled mushrooms with thyme and garlic – to die for.
Now London Porterhouse doesn’t only do meats – they’ve got seafood as well, which – can I humbly say – smelt freaking amazing. Two diners were non-meat eaters and were presented with these large dinner plates with oysters, scallops, giant prawns and other seafood that made me jealous. Yes, jealous – even though I had a dinner platter of meat the size of Captain America’s shield right in front of me.
Now I don’t normally talk about wine, because I am ridiculously picky. I am one of many unlucky Asians with intolerance to alcohol. Most wines/beers will make me go red and blotchy around the face and neck, even though I am still be as sober as a dormouse. It is really embarrassing, so you can imagine why I generally avoid alcohol at work/blog functions.
However I thought to take a sip from each of the offered Argentinian wines and was surprised. None of the wines ‘bit back’ and I came away from the evening with my skin just a touch pink and no raging headache, even after downing a glass of each on offer. Now this might have something to do with the wines being organic, but I certainly wouldn’t mind having any of the three wines again: the sparkling Arido Moscato (Mendoza), the white Tomero Torrentes (Salta) and the red Serbal Malbec (Mendoza).
So in the end, I still cannot point out Argentina on a map, but I can now tell you to hook yourself up with some Argentinian food and gorgeous wines at London Porterhouse.
Note: London Porterhouse uses volcanic lava rock (not coals) on their parilla grill to create a really intense heat that doesn’t impact on the meat and seals in the flavours and juice. They do have the capacity to use woods (like cherry wood or apple wood) with the lava rock, which can add a smokiness, but they don’t tend to need to use it because of the superb quality of the meat that they source.