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address icon 99 Xuan Dieu, Tây Hồ, Hanoi

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December 7th, 2012 at 10:59 pm

We went to El Gaucho last week and had some truly excellent food. One of the best steaks I've ever had, in fact. Our experience was ruined by the terrible atmosphere of the restaurant.

We were a small family group and our table was in between two groups of loud, drunk men, getting louder and drunker. After taking our order and telling us the way we wanted our steaks cooked (medium-well) was wrong, our waiter then spent the rest of the night ignoring us in favour of the tables on either side. He was even drinking on the job - taking shots and downing wine with the men next door - very unprofessional.

After we finished our dinner, they halfheartedly offered us dessert and brought the menu. It took close to 15 minutes to drag the waiter away from his buddies at the next table so he could take our order.

So the service wasn't particularly good, but it can be excused. What can't be excused is the way the men at the next table objectified and hit on one of the waitresses - if these men did the same to a waitress at home, the manager would have removed them from the restaurant, but not here. At El Gaucho, the other waiters seemed to join in on victimising the poor woman. We were disgusted by this behaviour and in retrospect we should have complained to the western manager.

Lastly, I would say this place is quite overpriced. You don't really get good value for money - you don't need to pay $50 for a good steak in Hanoi, especially one that doesn't even come with sauce or sides.

Can't say we'll be back in a hurry.