Pampas Argentinian Steak House
36 Elgin Street, SoHo, Central
Tel: 2868 4077
Open: 11.30am-2pm (last order), 6pm-11pm
Price: about HK$375 for a three-course dinner without drinks or the service charge.
Ambience: tables in the small restaurant are close together but it wasn't full on a rainy night, and the staff let customers spread out rather than cramming everyone into one section.
Pros: our waiter seemed new and a little unsure of himself, but he was eager to please. The food is hardly exciting, but it's competently prepared.
Cons: my guest's beef tenderloin (230 grams for HK$298) was served rare, rather than his requested medium. It was taken away for further time on the grill and came back as he wanted it.
Recommended dishes: the starters were more interesting and varied than the mains, which consisted mainly of grilled meats and fish, and some dishes that had an Italian influence, such as the chicken parmigiana-sounding supreme de pollo a la napolitana (deep-fried breaded chicken with ham, mozzarella and tomato sauce). The chorizo pampas (grilled Argentinian beef sausage, HK$55) was fatty, moist and meaty, while the morcilla (grilled Argentinian blood sausage, HK$55) was oozingly soft, rich and absolutely delicious (if you like this kind of thing). Empanadas (HK$55 for two) could be ordered with fillings of beef, chicken, and ham and cheese. While the last was dull and heavy, the beef filling was moist and well-seasoned. My main course of sirloin steak (230 grams for HK$198) was tender (grass-fed beef can be tough), and had the meaty, almost iron-y flavour expected of this type of meat.
What else? Main courses are served with corn on the cob and potatoes (with a choice of preparations that include fried, baked or sauteed with onions) or vegetables. This is a sister restaurant to La Pampa on Staunton Street.