“Some of the best steak in Cambridge”, says Tab restaurant critic SEBASTIAN SALEK.

Tucked away on Bene’t St where Barclays Bank once stood, you may not have noticed the most recent addition to Cambridge’s already plentiful restaurant scene. But step inside CAU (pronounced ‘cow’, as in the poor bugger who you’ll no doubt end up chomping on) and you’ll be met with a unique setting so new they’ve still got the scaffolding up.

There’s diner-style seating lit by designer lampshades, corrugated metal on the walls, and grassy wallpaper on the ceiling. Apparently the people who make Innocent smoothies do barn conversions now. It was in here that I found myself sat the other evening with my girlfriend – the only person who you can legitimately take out to dinner two days after a mutually neglected Valentine’s Day.

Where CAU shines is in its versatility. United by a strong Argentinian theme, the menu is sufficiently varied to suit both your palate and your purse – although principally a steak restaurant, they’ll also knock you up a sandwich, burger, salad, or a range of fish and vegetarian dishes.As a result, the place was packed. Nevertheless, waiting staff – or rather cauboys and caugirls, they don’t take this whole theme business lightly – were always on hand. And they knew their stuff. Having each tried everything on the menu, staff were able to make informed recommendations to suit our tastes.

Putting my trust with our host for the first time out of many, I began with crispbread and homemade dips, including an aubergine-based option that managed to hint at the ashy aftertaste that the vegetable is capable of without warranting the caveat “Warning: may contain cigarette butts”. The baby back ribs that followed came comfortably off the bone, complemented by homemade barbecue sauce.

I’m a sucker for big claims, so I found it impossible to turn down what CAU had crowned the “king of steaks”. At 18oz, the Tira de Ancho is a girthy number of considerate length that unapologetically dominates the plate. Although slightly over-seasoned, this piece of steak was the definition of medium rare, and the perfect level of tenderness that meant it didn’t outstay its welcome in the mouth.

Featuring such exotics as dulce de leche pancakes and cornflake-flavoured ice cream, picking a dessert is no easy feat. Oozing out its insides like the star of an M&S advert, my chocolate fondant didn’t need a cretinous Instagram filter to keep up appearances. Having said that, the little diva could have been slightly richer.

The wine menu is lengthy, with several bottles available either side of £20, but for a more refreshing alternative try Clericot, Argentina’s answer to sangria.

Unless you have four stomachs, CAU isn’t somewhere you’ll only want to visit once. If you’re prepared to pay for it, they do some of the best steak in Cambridge (I’ve blagged enough free dinners from law firms to know that). If not, there’s no lack of other options. You could go with friends and then again with your parents and have a completely different experience. And let’s face it, you couldn’t say the same for Barclays Bank.

CAU, Bene’t St, Cambridge (01223 357000)

  • wait but

    have you really written this without telling us how much anything is?

  • Waste of time

    Awful. Salek has no idea how to write a simple review!! Unbelieveable.

  • but wait

    when i went, the burgers were cold and the steaks not anywhere near medium?

  • Useful Advice Mallard
  • either

    you ate a lot or those pictures aren’t from your meal

  • CAU

    is the fucking shit. Went there last night. Soooo good.

  • Anastacia

    speaking as someone who has lived in Argentina for the better part of my life I did not find this restaurant in any way authentic. The music played was so loud that I had to lean over the table and half shout at my companion so they could hear what I was saying, not exactly the most romantic setting.

    The food was at best average, I had ordered medium rare and received what could only be well done. If you’re looking for a restaurant that does a really good steak dinner than I’d advice going to the Riverbar Steakhouse and Grill.

  • Awful pun brigade

    More like a ‘ResCAUrant review’, ey guys!

    • Slightly Better Pun Brigade

      Only the one spelling mis-steak in the article – well done

  • Classic Tab

    It’s poorly written, he knows nothing about food, nothing about wine, and does shit all to hide that fact.

    He also can’t spell barbecue. Come on, you idiot.

    • Classic

      Tab troll.

  • o.O

    “is a girthy number of considerate length that unapologetically dominates”

  • Working Class Lad

    Bourgeois food for bourgeois scum, if it’s not McDonald’s or Sansbury’s basics I’m not interested

    • Working Class Lad

      In rummaging around for change and selling my body whilst commenting I appear to have misspelt Sainsburys

  • Erm

    guys has no one else noticed the disgusting ramifications of a male reviewer describing his experience of eating a so called ‘Cau’?! ‘Cau’, or ‘cow’, is commonly used as a derogatory term for a member of the superior sex. The reviewer has penetrated the Cau with his three-pronged fork-phallus, and then slut shamed by describing her as over seasoned. In the lexicon of the patriarchy this clearly means the cau was wearing to much make-up. This is not funny ‘jesting with the blokes’, this is very, very serious.

  • Journalist

    Pictures from google images. Unbelievably weak. Not even the daily mail sink that low (that often)

    • Sebastian Salek

      These were actually sent to me by CAU’s PR company, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they’d found their way onto Google Images by now, so it’s an easy mistake to make.

      • Journalist

        So what? just take your own pictures! it’s your review!

  • Anon

    “Cambridge’s already plentiful restaurant scene” Aka bunch of mediocre restaurant chains.

  • Casual Diner

    The sign of a good restaurant is a longer wine list than food menu. Cau is ultimately just at the high end of casual dining. It’s good for what it is and you’ll leave full, but don’t think that this will blow you away.

  • Anonymous

    Give the guy a break- is it really that bad a review? At the end of the day its the tab: its a review that is designed to be readable. If you want a dull, step-by-step analysis of someone’s meal go on trip advisor.

    • Basics!

      That’s the problem. The review isn’t readable at all. It’s full of useless, arrogant turns of phrase, shameful malapropisms and pointless comments.. No prices, no appraisal of the menu, no succinct opinion. You blather on about the Cambridge restaurant scene but the only restaurant you compare this place to is a bank. And you absolutely can’t pass off PR photos as your own – after all, does a Big Mac ever look like the photo in the menu? Disappointed.

  • Thank you!

    Until I read this I wasn’t aware that I could go to restaurants with my girlfriend, with friends OR with my parents too!!!

  • Randy Anderson

    It’s rare that I get snapped by that Fred Ahern loser on a wednesday night. Usually lock onto my prey within ten, then its back to my lair for a functional chop and a good night’s sleep before S&C. You know who you are ladies – shout out to my lax girls, 7 and counting.

  • Bloody Mungo

    As an essential component to the Monk Durham food chain, I am proudly responsible for a number of these good lads wading into Loveshack on a Wednesday night. Pigeons aren’t wanted here, M is for Mungo.

    • Rim Folland

      A self- proclaimed BNOC and best mate of midd’s you can often see my shlid operating the monk queue on a wednesday night. Bouncers were so intimidated by the size of my foreskin at the weekend that they threw me out. Ajay for life

  • Robson Smokes Green

    Those complete specimens in the fourth photo down look like the wolf fish I recently caught off of West Africa. Would have to nail my way through a 20bag before I would even consider casting my hook at them.

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