Restaurant review: La Plata


Simple, well cooked food, with lots of flavour and at a good price. What more could you ask for?

Richmond/Putney isn’t short of places to have a steak – most restaurants have it on the menu – and the likes of Gaucho and Buenos Aires / Roxie Steak and Popes Eye – off it as the main attraction. But for East Sheen locals, a little of Argentina has opened its doors on Sheen Lane.

While the décor is minimal – plain walls and shelves of wine – it works well in the compact space, with most tables running down one side, with benches against the wall. On the Saturday night we arrived, the tables were already full at 8pm and the lively, effusive atmosphere made it feel like we were in on a private party.

Despite being busy, the service was immediately attentive, with our waiter recommending which starts would be a good mix between the four of us. We went for spinach empanadas, chorizo al Malbec (both £5.95) and king prawns (£7.95). The chorizo was spicy, but balanced by the sweetness of the accompanying caramalised onions. The pan-fried prawns were perfect, with just the right amount of garlic and lemons, ie, lots. The beautifully crisp pastry of the empanadas enveloped the warm, creamy spinach. So delicious, we ordered another round, which came quickly.

The choice of steaks is what you would expect – rump, sirloin, ribeye and fillet – and you can choose one of four sizes, from a light 220g (£15.25 for rump) to a mega eat-the-whole-cow 500g of beef (£34.25 for sirloin). If you can’t make your mind up, you can go for the Argentine Experience (£45.25 for two) – a mix of all of them, plus a couple of side dishes. The four of us had sirloin and rump and all four of us were in raptures over the flavour and tenderness of the meat. I’ve had a lot of steaks in a lot of restaurants, and this really was mouth-wateringly good. Although I haven’t tried it, they do a £10 rump and chips lunch menu.

Of course, there are other dishes for those who don’t want to eat cow – chicken, pork, pasta – but then why come to an Argentinian steak house?

The only disappointment was not being asked whether we would like a dessert. This may have been because it had been some hours, a few G&Ts and a couple of bottles of wine since we arrived and they just wanted us to go, but we did eventually manage to order one to share. The truth is I can’t actually remember what it was. Just gone. You’ll just have to find out for yourself.

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Pippa Duncan
109 Sheen Lane, SW14 8AE
020 8876 7747

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