Two Argentinian restaurants are better than one?


It looks as though the Cactus Pit is going to become a CAU restaurant. (Planning application was here, but won’t load for me currently). They specialise in Argentinian beef according to their restaurant website, which mentions other branches in Cambridge and Guildford.

So thirty seconds walk from a lovely Argentinian beef restaurant, Blackheath residents are going to have a second one. I really hope it doesn’t damage Buenos Aires, as its probably the nicest restaurant in the village (even for vegetarians).

(Thanks to the anonymous bugler who spotted the application). Image above shows the CAU restaurant in Guildford.

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66 Comments

Filed under blackheath, food, planning, restaurants

66 responses to “Two Argentinian restaurants are better than one?

  1. chris seaden

    Perhaps we should do a steak in the buenos aires some time – I have never been.

    Sent from mr chas’s ipaw

  2. Bill

    Cafe Rough is the one that will have problems, it looked empty the other day , they need to up their game

    • Anonymous

      Not forgetting Chapters, with a multi-million-pound Josper to support. Mind you, Cau will have to go some to fill the legions of tables and meet the eye-watering rent.

      Meanwhile, let’s have some sympathy for the poor nocturnal drinking crowd? I presume the basement late licence won’t continue. Where will these lost souls go now on a Saturday night?

  3. Anonymous

    its a shame that a potential another chain is coming to the village – and do we need another steak restaurant when we have the lovely Buenos Aires and the new addition of Cote? It would be nice to have a nice Japanese restaurant

  4. On the plus side at least it’s not an identikit large national chain – we’re only talking about 2 other restaurants here – and besides Buenos Aires cafe is a therefore chain too: there’s one in Greenwich! But yes, two Argentinians practically side by side is bonkers.

    Would be lovely to have some noodles/sushi in Blackheath. We’ve got sophisticated enough palates here!

    • Anonymous

      The one in Greenwich is more of a snack bar. Strangely, there is a seperate chain called Buenos Aires with half a dozen steak houses across London.

      • The other Buenos Aires steakhouse is called BA steakhouse, Buenos Aires steakhouse, etc. Buenos Aires cafe is a family run business the owner is from Buenos Aires and they have a small Buenos Aires cafe & Deli in Greenwich serving only coffees, patisserie, etc

  5. Sven Ellis

    The team behind Argentinean restaurant chain Gaucho is launching a new dining concept, which will be a more casual, accessible restaurant brand aimed at regional cities.

    Cau, which is a new company formed by the same shareholders who own Gaucho, will open its first outlet in Guildford, Surrey, next month.

    Cau director Charlie McLean told Caterersearch.com the idea behind Cau was to bring a more casual version of Gaucho to the high street.

    “We wanted to come up with a brand for the regional towns that is informal, cool and a bit quirky,” he said.

    “Our experienced team have developed the idea for Cau over the past year and we are filling a gap in the market by offering a casual and accessible dining experience in a cool and contemporary environment. Gaucho is more expensive and more formal but the Cau brand gives us a road to the regional towns.”

    Caterer and Hotelkeeper, 2011

  6. Anonymous

    Buenos Aires has gone really downhill. The last two meals I had in there were disappointing. The burger was overcooked last time and the time before that the steak was bland. I would not recommend it to anyone. The Hill in greenwich is far better. I hope the new place causes buenos aires to improve.

  7. Beefy

    CAUrestaurants set to open on the Cactus Pit unit this August

  8. Beefy

    It’s a surprise that the opening is not until August. Got to clear out all the Cactus needles

  9. Rob

    Hurrah! Thank goodness the awful nasty Mexican restaurant is finally going! Anything would be better. New concept restaurant it seems – worth checking out!

  10. Rob

    What do we want at the other end of the village in the old pizzeria place. Maybe sushi?

  11. Dan

    A wagamma’s please

  12. Ed

    I believe the first CAU was in Amsterdam

  13. Anonymous

    Planning permission to change the shop from was declined

  14. Anonymous

    The correct procedure is not to start work until a planning application is granted. Too often in the last few years landlords and retailers have smashed up delightful shops then sought retrospective permission.

    I agree that pavement dumping is widespread but that is meant to apply where there is no space for a commercial waste bin, such as on Tranquil Vale. Cote has plenty of room for bins. They also go to extremes, dumping up to 20 bags right in the middle of the pavement rather than stacking to one side.

  15. Jim

    Yes it’s awful the way cote dump rubbish right in the middle of the pavement .

    • Steve

      Where can we complain about the rubbish being dumped?

      • Anonymous

        Like me, you can complain till blue in the face to Lewisham council but nothing will happen. Enforcement officers appeared regularly at first but it appears they were only interested in getting Cote to restore the previous owner’s contract with council collectors. Once that happened, where the rubbish was dumped was no longer considered a problem.

  16. Ed

    Does anyone know the opening date yet ?

  17. Anonymous

    Garbage?

    What are we all speaking like Yanks now?!?

  18. Paul

    Oh dear , delays will mean more cost so menu prices will be higher or they go bust without even opening

  19. Mryo77

    Hmmm why have another Argentinian restaurant?…why not try and attract another cuisine – a nice Thai/Vietnamese/Chinese for example.

    • Anonymous

      All three have been tried – and failed. Laughing Buddha [RIP] was the best Chinese for miles. The current Cote was once a Vietnamese.

      PS: any info on who has taken the Venice Bar?

    • Jon Lee

      You do know we have a Thai restaurant don’t you? Can’t remember the name but round the corner from Barclays near the Post Office. Very nice too. The Strada used to be a good Chinese too, but Laughing Buddha was excellent.

  20. Sven Ellis

    RIP Bella Vista, a genuinely excellent local restaurant. Replaced by Aqua, a Mediterranean Fusion (dread word) place, pre-loved by the burghers of Purley and Banstead. Not a lot of fusing going on, as it seems to be half Greek Cypriot and half Italian. So it’s Souvlaki or Spag Bol, with Baklava or Tiramisù. Good grief.

  21. Mir

    Does anyone know why Bella Vista has gone? We loved the Italian food there.

  22. cliff

    don’t quite know when it’s going to open but I poked my nose in through the door of CAU, and it looks very smart, I found myself feeling excited about it

    re. Aqua, a friend has been to a restaurant of theirs (Bromley?) and says it’s very good food, & fab cocktails

    & ‘the Bank’ apparently is going to be a Pizzeria, the current fare isn’t going down very well

    • Anonymous

      I presume they have replicated the shop front, after ripping out the original and then being refused planning permission. They’ve also been refused permission for an illuminated sign.

      And the quality of the food may depend on whether they can stop the sewers from overflowing after heavy rain like yesterday. Perhaps that’s why there’s so much air-extraction ducting at the back that it looks like an oil refinery [all done without an obvious planning application].

  23. Kate

    Nat West will be Bianco 43, my favourite restaurant in Greenwich, the food is great and staff very friendly. I just hope the space isn’t too big for them.

  24. Beefy

    Is Bianco 43 really that nice? Looks just like the old ‘Italian’ place that was in there.

    I think it would make more sense to split the space into 2 or 3 different restaurants.

  25. Si

    oh dear, the ‘bank’ needs a big name to fill that massive space, it’s been a pizzia place before… I still think a Wagamma’s would do well.

  26. The bank would be ideal for a McDonalds would it not?

  27. mark

    We need a decent chinese now that Sunbo is so rubbish. Ever since it tried to be a chicken and chips place I think the quality has suffered.

  28. cliff

    all the boards are off Cau, looks great, can’t wait to get in :)

    and btw, we’ve had 3 takeouts from SunBO recently & have enjoyed the food, nice meat, crispy veg, not gloopy

    • mark

      Oh ok. Maybe I will give it another go. Really surprised their signage was allowed in the town. It looks cheap like a Cottage Chicken place.

  29. Beefy

    Boards off at Bianco 43 as well, but it looks just the same

  30. Julie

    Has anyone eaten at Cau yet? I tried to get in last night, but it was full, so was Café Buenos Aires. Ended up at the Indian around the corner. Very pleasant.

    • Anonymous

      CAU is fabulous. 6 of us dined cocktails were delicious and cheap only 6 or 7 pounds each, starters so tasty get the pork belly, salt pepper squid, smoked carpaccio, the lamb sausage, muscles in fact it was brilliant.

      The steaks are essentially what they serve at Gaucho (so very good) and service is brilliant.

      Can see these guys doing incredibly well the village has needed this for a long time.

  31. Anonymous – Thanks for the review, will give it a go.

    If they serve muscles, is the place a bit cramped?

  32. Anonymous

    Also been to try CAU and they are very good, decent menu and not too pricey. I was surprised that some cuts of steak are not on the menu like fillet for example (they have fillet of rump but not fillet). Although CAU and Café Buenos Aires are both Argentinian steakhouses that is where the similarities end. Personally I prefer Café Buenos Aires, its smaller, more intimate with a nice ambiance. I prefer their menu and in my opinion serve a better steak. Like I said this is my opinion and I am sure there are other who will prefer CAU which has more of a vibe. It’s not a bad thing for Blackheath to have two Argentinian Steakhouses as are very different and will appeal to different people or at least you will decide where to go based on what mood you are in, a nice quiet steak and bottle of red then Café Buenos Aires is the one. Cocktail, steak and more noise then CAU is for you.

  33. Ricky

    Also been to try CAU and they are very good, decent menu and not too pricey. I was surprised that some cuts of steak are not on the menu like fillet for example (they have fillet of rump but not fillet). Although CAU and Café Buenos Aires are both Argentinian steakhouses that is where the similarities end. Personally I prefer Café Buenos Aires, its smaller, more intimate with a nice ambiance. I prefer their menu and in my opinion serve a better steak. Like I said this is my opinion and I am sure there are other who will prefer CAU which has more of a vibe. It’s not a bad thing for Blackheath to have two Argentinian Steakhouses as are very different and will appeal to different people or at least you will decide where to go based on what mood you are in, a nice quiet steak and bottle of red then Café Buenos Aires is the one. Cocktail, steak and more noise then CAU is for you.

  34. Sven Ellis

    Toptable full of gushing, faintly generic reviews from accounts with only one review. Let’s hear it for memointeractive.com, their PR company.

    • Mark

      I left one of those comments on toptable. I thought food and service was good. Only thing was food was a bit warm rather than hot. Would definitely go back though.

  35. Julie

    Went here last Wednesday. Steaks were fine, but I don’t think that the wine is as good as at Café Buenos Aires. The service was fine, until we tried to ask for the bill. Altogether, it took about 20 minutes to arrive and then we had to ask for the credit card machine and so it took another five minutes.

    I’d go again, but have a preference for the intimacy and quality of Café Buenos Aires’ wines; also their service is better.

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