‘An eclectic selection of dishes from a city where cultures and cuisines collide’
On the corner of Wilmslow Road and Barloow Moor Road in Didsbury sits Buenos Aires-inspired restaurant CAU – Carne Argentina Unica.
Having opened in October 2015, CAU has flourished a complimentary reputation ever since. They’ve just celebrated their first birthday, but the professionalism of the set-up and the staff suggests they’ve been going for years. With a menu bursting with diverse cuisines, CAU is a mix of Argentinean, Spanish and Italian inspiration, fused to unique tastes that command respect.
Upon entry, you’re met with a contemporary layout of fixtures and fittings. A vibrant splash of colour is added in the form of bright blue chairs, juxtaposed with black and chrome tables. Soft dimmed lighting adds to the classy, relaxed ambience of the room, complimented by soft indie notes serenading the diners.
The service from general manager Jo Vidler was outstanding – a perfect combination of the warmth of the South American city CAU is imbued from and the sprightly informative nature of a well-read Mancunian. She was a fountain of knowledge of all things CAU and went above and beyond to ensure we had the best meal possible.
For starters Jo served us up a range of tapas-style starter dishes, amongst which were the ‘empanadas’ – a collection of filled mini-pastries. We enjoyed a spinach, ricotta and date pastry – a well-balanced sweet and savoury mix – and a satiating spicy ground beef option.
We then went onto the yerba-smoked beef, served with a side of homemade wasabi mayonnaise. A somewhat acquired taste, yet undoubtedly compliments the other starter dishes.
Did we mention the gluten-free starter? This collection of mozzarella-filled mini blue corn tortillas are a delight. Priced at 2 pastries for £7.50, they are a medley of flavours, accompanied by a generous dollop of guacamole.
The ‘mother of steaks’
With all of this, plus some flavoursome hummus and crisp bread with aubergine caviar, chilli and nuts, you’d be moo-mooing with pleasure at these moreish treats.
For the main course, we were served the mother of steaks. Priding itself as the best spot for steaks and burgers in town, CAU served us the ‘Rump’. The words tender and juicy have never been so fitting to describe this piece of meat, cooked to perfection by sous chef George.
CAU’s steaks vary in price depending on their weight and are served with a side of your choice. Among the options are the chunky chips and they really are serious when they call them chunky. For the more health conscious amongst our readers, CAU offer a fresh, flavoursome salad side option. It’s served with a guacamole sauce, a frequent choice of condiment on the menu.
Jo explained CAU’s ethos: “We take Buenos Aires but we put our own twist on it”. She insisted we try a prime example of this, their truffled macaroni and cheese. The truffles were a surprising addition that made all the difference in this tasty dish.
A wide range of desserts are on offer, including churros and numerous flavours of Argentinean ice-cream. Unfortunately for us, we’d enjoyed our first two courses too much to stomach a third.
It’s not just the food that makes CAU a Didsbury hot-spot, the drinks are exquisite too. We had the pleasure of sampling some of the cocktail menu, amongst which was the ‘Bright Blue Skies’. A mix of Black Cow vodka, Cointreau, egg white and chamomile tea may not sound like your usual cocktail of choice, but don’t knock this indulgent concoction until you try it.
Here at TNT we’re envious of all the people who’ll be enjoying meals at CAU over the Christmas period.
TNT Lifestyle Natasha Dunn