Reviews of Constancia
Tanner Street, London SE1
Worse than before
I don't know why we went back, the place annoyed me last time. I guess I want to suport a local independent business and I had faith that things would have improved. The steak is still served on a cold plate, which means the steak goes cold by the time you are half way through. Also the steak was over-cooked. We both ordered medium rare and it was medium at best, verging on medium-well. Service was average at best - I had to ask for a drinks order, I had to ask for water and the staff were non-interested. The 4 of them just chatting at the counter for most of the evening.
I also don't understand why they only offer one red wine by the glass. Lots of people don't want to order a whole bottle and we are used to having at least 3-5 wines by the glass in restaurants these days.
It didn't feel special at all and it's nowhere near as good as Gaucho Grill, who I still think offer an example of service that few others can match.
All in all very poor.
Cold plates - part 2
Went last night for the first time with a friend. Great interior and very friendly staff.
We were seated right next to the sliding toilet door - not a huge problem, but the door was either left open by the constant stream of users or banging off its hinges.
I had the 8oz sirloin, which was excellent. Cooked just right and very thick and juicy. The chips are really good and the grilled red peppers with garlic were tasty.
But, why serve excellent food on a cold plate? - I have got into the habit of always checking for hot plates and boosting my mental score of the place if the plate is hot. My steak was decidedly cool by the time I go to the last 1/4 of it.
Other bits: try the Argentinian beer - very nice.
I will be back, but I really hope someone from Constancia reads this and moves the stack of clean plates next to the hot grill!
Lovely high quality steak, perfectly cooked, served on a stone-cold plate. This means that the meat is cold when you're half way through the steak.
Service was OK - waited at least 5 minutes before being offered a drink. Then the waiter got our order wrong (hadn't read back our order, so there was a misunderstanding).
Not as good as Gaucho Grill.
Pretty quiet when we went (early evening) and pretty underwhelming too. It's normal for a drinks order when menus arrive but not here. Sickly sweet mojitos, came after we got the fine starters. We were dying for a char-grilled steak before our film (at Shortwave), but were really disappointed. I had rib-eye and my partner a sirloin. Neither made an impression and both were sinewy. We'll go elsewhere next time, somewhere like the faultless More in Tooley Street!
A great addition to SE1
We went on Saturday for a second time within a month and it did not let us down. We all thought that just having the olives, nuts and crisps as a starter was the best deal, considering the size of the mains. Ribeyes with garlic and herb chips (which were to die for!) accompanied by sharing the sides of portobello mushrooms and grilled red peppers were fantastic and very filling. So much so, we had no room for desserts. I suppose our only gripe was that the coffee was, well, bland. Not enough caffeine kick for the espresso lovers.
Wine list was good, too. Starts about £13 for house, but we had a pinot noir at £24 which was of high quality.
Menu look expensive at first sight, but the side orders are big enough for two.
The service was great, too. We tried ordering 2 bowls of chips, but they said, no, one bowl was plenty. Likewise the starters.
Not a place for vevetarians, though. Quite possibly their idea of hell on a plate.
As is standard practice on this website, I've no connection with the restuarant.
And by the way, if you do not like your steaks rare you gotta tell them.
As good and cheaper
Food is good if not better than Gauchos and cheaper.Very friendly staff and service, however lacking of atmosphere a little. Highly recommended if you are thinking of Gauchos as an alternative
Looks good, tastes great
Tried this place on Tower Bridge Road for the first time last night. I thought it was quite quiet for a Thursday night whereas Delfina at Bermondsey Sq was pretty busy so I think it may not be helped by its location slightly away from the other restaurants and bars. If so, it's a shame, because we thought it was really good. It's a meat lover's paradise. We had the black pudding starter which believe it or not looked appetising and tasted amazing - not something I usually say about black pudding! The we had steak, chips, green salad and argentinian sausages and everything was very tasty, especially the sausages which were really great. The service was quick and attentive and I really like the decor of the place, feels stylish without being fussy or formal. Thought it was better value than most of the restaurants around here for what you get, which is simple food of great quality and a relaxing, no fuss evening out.
Will be returning
Visited yesterday, and was pretty pleased with everything - its a mix of carnivore heaven and Argentinian attitude thrown in, which added to the experience. Great smells from the grill on entering really got the taste buds working Bread, olives dips and crisps were a light entre, and frankly anything more would have been a mistake. The Rib-eye was succulent and suitably rare while flamed on the outside. Perfect Chips with fresh parsley and garlic (nice twist), and a basic but acceptable tomato salad, washed down with a bottle of Mendoza. Friendly service, including hot tips on visiting Argentina!. Will be returning, even though I smelt like a bonfire afterwards!
Went tonight, and fairly impressed - I've spent some time in Beunos Aires and it gets pretty close to the mark - the steaks were immaculately cooked (medium rare) on an open parrilla they said came from Argentina; have a look round the corner, it's spot on.
The ribeye is the steak to go for, the more expensive Bife de Chorizo was a little tough for sirloin to be honest, but the ribeye was perfect. Apparently the steak also comes from Argentina, but maybe a they suffer a small amount in a vacuum bag in transit.
In any case, it's pretty good stuff, and the chips are very nice, crispy and fluffy, and they use nice oil with no aftertaste. Use of raw garlic on the sala id OK, but maybe they need to fry it off a little lol! Wine was well priced, predominately Malbec (the perfect combination) and ours at around 14 nicker was good stuff.
All this set in a cool but not overbearing atmosphere with at least 2 waiters from Beunos Aires, and you get a nice addition to SE1.
First visit to this new restaurant over the weekend and overall impression was good, but still some room for improvement before it becomes a regular haunt.
On the plus side the steaks were fantastic; cooked to perfection and plenty of it. The sides (chips and tomato & onion salad for us) were enough to keep a family of four happy and the chips were that perfect mix of crispy outer & fluffy inside :-)
On the down side the mixed platter of italian meats & cheeses was a big let down. Finally arrived after a 45min wait and turned-out to be a small bowl of cheese cubes and a few slices of salami together with a double helping of ready salted crisps.
Staff were friendly enough and overall atmosphere was ok but have to admit that we were both feeling a bit jaded after the poor start so we were probably not in the best frame of mind. Luckily the quality of steaks help recover things and we'll definitely be back... just might leave it a few weeks until things settle down.
Everyone knows how they like their steak done. And so does Constancia. From the subtle smell of charcoal at the door, to the large open grill in view of the diners, the tenderest steaks and meatiest of sausages brought to your table on their own authentic warmers, this place offers and delivers a true taste of Argentina. The atmosphere when we went was informal and relaxed, with service slick and with a smile. Value is superb, as portions are generous, and steaks are cooked to order and perfection. I won't eat steak anywhere else, especially as the chips they serve are as crisp as proper English roast potatoes! Absolutely 10/10! Welcome to the neighbourhood!
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