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CAU
15 Castle St,
Edinburgh,
EH2 3AH
0131 226 2262

Put a rib-eye under the tree!

A steakhouse was just the place to take my friend 'The Dowager'. Perhaps it would take her back to her halcyon days of brick-sized mobile phones, shoulder pads and 'The Prawn Cocktail Years'. 

Cau (Carne Argentinia Unica) however, is a contemporary sophisticated chain with a vibrant ambience and switched on staff. 

Not a prawn in sight on the 'small plates' but I could've eaten any of them. I eventually chose empanadas - one stuffed with spinach, ricotta and date, the other with chorizo and cream cheese.
Moreish crimped pastry and two tasty fillings. The Dowager chose the 'burnt' tomato bruschetta with whipped goats cheese on sourdough with anchovies. Thumbs up for both and, importantly, for the wines; both from the Languedoc and red for me as Cau is Malbec heaven.  An Argentinian 'Lorca Graffiti' from Mendoza followed hot on France's heels.

Beef is Aberdeen Angus,  free-range, grass-fed and straight from the Pampas Plains. I had the smallest Tira de Ancho 'the King of steaks'; a 400 gram spiral rib-eye marinated in chimichurri, a mix of peppers, herbs and vinaigrette.  There was no way I was ever going to finish this beast but I gave it my best shot as it was so flavoursome and tender. All steaks are aged for 30 days and include a side although my salad was too pepper heavy for me - I am a simple lettuce, tomato, cucumber gal.  Truffled mac 'n' cheese was to die for and demands an Autumnal return to enjoy it again with a glass of Malbec of course. The Dowager had chosen wisely, succulent medallions were devoured with relish despite her being a small eater and triple-cooked chips, of which she ate precisely 3, were pronounced delicious. 

The churros were calling me for dessert but I needed something light and so went for a lovely bitter orange creme caramel. The Dowager polished off chocolate fondant with ice cream which was warm, oozy and flavoursome in all the right places. She was happy to have eaten "three perfect courses. "

Cau has everything you desire from cocktails and bubbles to salads and smoothies, all dished up in a stylish cosmopolitan setting. There are plenty of reasons to visit and as it is centrally located too it should do very well. (S. Wilson)

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