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Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Santa Maria - a carnivore dream

Santa Maria Del Sur on Urbanspoon
Santa Maria Del Sur (picture)


This has been on my "to go to" list for quite some time. And it had nothing to do with the fact that Santa Maria Del Sur featured on Gordon Ramseys "The F word" some time ago. It was mentioned first to me by a friend of mine whom lived in the area, showing that Santa Maria, situated in the middle of Battersea Queenstown Rd (with nothing else around), is a hit with the locals (if you can get a table!)

Santa Maria does steak, and steak is what it is known for (there is one fish dish on the menu, and a couple of vegitarian options, the rest is meat, meat, meat!) The cuts are Argentinian (something about the grass that the cows eat there) aged for 28 days, and cooked to perfection.

We started with the Empanadas to share, which are made on the premises (traditional Argentine pasties, choice of beef,chicken, spinach and cheese or sweetcorn). You get two per a serving of £5. The pastry was soft and light, yet crispy. It was fresh, and this was depicted in the texture and flavour. The fillings were well seasoned, and I could have had another 5 to myself!

Fillet of Beef 10oz £25
 The meat was naturally the highlight. Cooked to medium rare, the steak cut like butter.
The seasoning on the outside had a wonderful grilled BBQ-esk salty/peppery flavour, and the rest was tender and almost melted in my mouth. Yes I don't eat beef steak a lot these days, but when I do, I expect it to be just like this! It was perfect.

Garden salad and marinated aubergine £3.50ea.
The side dishes, which we ordered, on the other hand were far from perfect. 'Marinated' aubergine could have been more marinated, it had more of a grilled flavour (which is OK, but not what I expected). The overall flavour of the dish felt like someone went 'happy' and haphazard with the dried spices from the pantry, and therefore the texture of the olive oil-based dressing was that of dried leaves of all different flavours. Not nice.

The salads were OK, but could have used some dressing in general, as they were bone dry. The chips however, seasoned with garlic, were tender and tasty. And the steak was good, did I already say that?
Home made Creme Caramel
As the dinner so far had been quite lean, there was some room for dessert. The Creme Caramel was creamy and smooth, and had a jelly-like shake to it (perfect!).

The service was attentive and friendly, and by the time we left at 10pm, the restaurant was buzzing (have a listen to the atmosphere at 7.30pm, already lively).

I would recommend calling to make a booking, or you can also do it on their website here

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