Please note this establishment has now closed.
Last Thursday it felt like spring had sprung, walking out of work I really didn't fancy going straight home from work and slaving over a hot stove, so I suggested to a friend that we go out and eat as a mid week treat.
We had a look at some of the restaurants that feature on Pink Gorilla, we did want to go to Distrikt but food is only served until 7pm and we didn't think we would be able to relax knowing there was a time constraint. So instead we decided to opt for The River Plate. With the Pink Gorilla deal you get two for one on main courses Monday to Thursday.
The River Plate is in a nice location sandwiched between Brewery Wharf and Call Lane on The Calls. There are a few bars and restaurants in this district which tend to be independent and a bit more highly priced.
The River Plate is an Argentinian Steak House, as you can probably guess they pride themselves on their steaks and offer a large selection and weights.
Having never visited The River Plate before I only had their website to rely on to give me a feel for the place. So when we rocked up last Thursday evening I was surprised, it wasn't what I was expecting at all. The website was giving me a rather informal and relaxed vibe, I was expecting it to be like Azucar or Las Iguanas in decoration and atmosphere. It was far more formal and clean looking, not something I would expect for a steakhouse.
As we walked in there were some sofas on the lower floor with incense burning which was quite welcoming, as we walked up the stairs we were greeted by a rather tall man with a huge smile. He led us to a table by the window. It must have been about 6.45pm when we arrived and the place was dead, there were no other diners but ourselves.
We advised the waiter we had a Pink Gorilla deal and ordered drinks, a large Pinot Grigio for me (£6.25) and a glass of coke.
We had a look over the menu trying to decide what to have, the Pink Gorilla deal only covered main meals, but this includes Steak. It seemed a bit of a waste to visit an Argentinian Steakhouse and not have steak, plus none of the other meals were really grabbing me.
We both chose to have a 225g Ribeye steak. It's worth mentioning here that for £15.95 you are only getting a steak, you have to order everything else separately. We both ordered fries to go with our steak which was £3 a dish and a sauce which was another £1.50. So if you're going without a two for one voucher you are looking at paying at least £20.45 for a main meal.... a mixed leaf salad is £3.70.
We didn't order starters as we were hoping that this would be a cheap mid week treat...
I ordered my steak well done and my friend ordered theirs medium to well done. When they turned up they were less well done than you would expect elsewhere. Mine was slightly charred around the edges but I don't mind this, others might. Mine was also slightly pink in the middle too, my friend said theirs was slightly bleeding. Normally I wouldn't eat the pink bits... I'm not a massive meat person and I definitely couldn't eat something that was still bleeding. This time however I gave it ago and I did like it. I still wouldn't order my steak medium when dining out as I have never liked it anywhere else, and wouldn't trust someone to get it just right.
Both of us said our steaks were really nice, tender, almost melt in your mouth meat. The chips were just OK.
We both agreed that we could definitely get the same quality steak elsewhere for cheaper, it might not have had that unique taste that the steak did here, but I can't justify paying so much just for that.
The waiter didn't seem too impressed that we didn't want a dessert and were eager to shoot off so we could catch a train. There were a few more people by the time we left but it still wasn't even nearing half it's capacity.
We felt there was a lack of atmosphere, I don't think it should depend on what day of the week it is I've been in restaurants on a Monday night and had a great time with a great atmosphere, so I don't think the fact it was a Thursday can be to blame. Some attempts to decorate it in a Argentinian theme had been made but it had been kept very minimalistic and extremely clean looking. The table for instance had been made to look worn/distressed in a very neat way...
With our two for one deal our meal came total was £33.
Not one for us, a little too pretentious (if I dare say so!) and the food just didn't match the price!
The River Plate
36-38 The Calls