REVIEW : Buenasados, Reading, Berkshire

TartanSpoonie, Kim went off to sample the menu at the all new Argentinian steakhouse, Buenasados, recently opened at The Oracle in Reading.

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The Oracle is a beautiful riverside shopping mall with loads of restaurants and bars on the embankment of the river Kennet and plenty of upmarket shops across 3 floors.

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Along the riverside, you’ll find Buenasados. According to their website, they are a true Argentinian restaurant where their beef comes all the way from the plains of the Las Palmas in Argentina. Cattle bred on the Las Palmas is renowned for being some of the best in the world; they have perfect grazing conditions and grass fed cattle means fat cattle and we all know that fat is where the flavours at!

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This occupies the space that CAU had, and its a complete decor overhaul; from stark white with unusual other worldly seating to something comfortable, where the customer’s comfort is at the forefront. They’ve used the space wisely with some nice touches that keep the space casual and welcoming.

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As it’s Argentinian, so Argentinian wine and beer feature but they also have wine from Spain and Italy too. Their wine list is impressive with Malbecs taking centre stage on the red varieties; they did have a Santa Rosa Viognier from Mendoza that I would be keen to try on another visit.

I chose not to go Argentinian on the wine only because I love a rose and this is the only one they sell by the glass - Sanvigilio Pinot Grigio Blush, Venezie, Italy (£6.85 for 250ml). It was a delicately scented with peachy and floral characters on the nose with juicy, ripe berry fruit n the palate.

Jamie, enjoyed a Quilmes Beer (£4.50), one of the most popular beers in Buenos Aires.

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Bey now to the menu.

It’s all about the meat - after all it is a steakhouse. Basically any kind of meat that you can chargrill is what’s on the menu.

Classic cuts like Rump (Cuadril), Sirloin (Chorizo), Rib-eye (Ancho) and Fillet (Lomo) are available in 220g, 250g and 310g; as well as burgers grilled medium or medium well; spatch cock chicken with a lemon and herb marinade and lamb chops with rosemary grilled potatoes.

The one item we look forward to returning to sample, only when we are extremely hungry, is the Buenasado Argentina ‘grill on the board’. Are you ready??? It’s chorizo sausage, chicken skewers, morcilla (black pudding), provolenta argentina (cheese), vegetable skewer, marinated lamb chops, 6oz rump steak and 6oz sirloin steak. It’s a sharing platter, so that makes it slightly easier to eat.

For starters, we had the EMPANADAS (£6.50) - Beef / Ham & Cheese / Creamy Spinach (v) / Creamed Corn Humita (v). We chose the Ham and Cheese and the Creamed Corn Humita.

Both of these were delicious and each one quite big. We definitely expected them to be smaller as it was a starter. They are crispy on the outside and lovely and hot and tasty fillings. The creamed corn was the favourite of the two.

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RUSTIC BREAD SELECTION (FOR TWO) (£3.95) - Freshly baked & served with chimichurri butter.

Bread was served toasted which we found a little odd but the butter made up for it; it was fabulous. The bread was a mixed selection.

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On to mains : ROASTED BELLY OF PORK (£14.95) - Slowly roasted for 5 hours in a home-made BBQ sauce, served with sweet potato fries.

This is normally served with sweet potato fries but I opted for the salad (on a diet ‘n all that!) The pork was beautifully cooked and juicy. The skin well crackled and the layer of fat just under the skin, well rendered leaving the unctuous flavour packed fat to delight your taste buds.

The BBQ sauce was a little too sweet and overwhelming for my tastes.

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One of us HAD to order a steak, so it was Jamie’s turn to do so. He went for the Ancho or Rib-eye steak (£20.50 for the 250g) served with fries and a Malbec sauce.

Steak was cooked to perfection (as you hope it would be) and well seasoned. Tender and soft, the knife cut through it like butter. Superb!

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Fries were well cooked and crispy but still soft on the inside. Unfortunately, it was the sauce that disappointed. The Malbec sauce tasted like wine and flour had been stirred together and served. It was watery and bitter.

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I love that they call desserts ‘puddings’ on their menu.

DULCE DE LECHE CHEESECAKE (£5.75) - the classic Argentine cheesecake.

This was very tasty indeed. Smooth and creamy like a thick caramel sauce should be but this wasn’t overly sweet. They have gotten the balance of sweetness just right. We polished this off super quick.

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We also ordered the ROGEL TORTE (£5.75) - crispy pastry sandwiched with Dulce de Leche and topped with meringue.

This was the star of the whole meal and one of the best desserts I have ever had. The pastry was thin and crispy, with just enough give to easily break the crust without breaking the plate. The meringue so soft and fluffy. We could have eaten this over and over.

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Last but not least, we ordered Buenos Aires Coffees (£9.25)- served with whiskey (must be Irish), Dulce de Leche and fresh cream.

This sounded amazing and we couldn’t wait to try it but it had too much whiskey in it (maybe they need to swop to a Scottish whisky!). If you love whisky, then you’ll love this, or ask them for a half shot if you don’t like it overly strong.

A special shout out to our waitress, Maria, who made our evening perfect, she couldn’t have been more friendly or helpful.

We had a really great meal and are already planning a return for that steak platter!

Kim & Jamie x

Buenasados, Unit 28 Lower Mall, The Oracle Shopping Centre, Reading, RG1 2AQ. Tel : 0118 9589550 www.buenasado.com/restaurants/reading

My Spoon Award : Gold Spoon 9/10

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