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Review/ Warning: Buenos Aires Grill

Argentinian beef cries for you (Photo:

I’d heard some pretty awful things about Buenos Aires Grill, the Argentinian restaurant off Aungier Street beside the Radisson Hotel. Multiple bad reports, including from people who’d eat pretty much anything and never complain, put me off ever going. When a friend chose it for his birthday dinner, I figured it couldn’t be as bad as everybody said, and reasoned it would be a chance to give it a try. I didn’t warn him of the anecdotal stories.

This so-called Argentinian restaurant is laid out exactly like a million forgettable hotel restaurants anywhere in the world. On the Saturday we arrived in a party of ten, it seemed enormously popular with almost all tables taken.

It quickly became clear that the only Argentinian aspect of this restaurant was its misleading name. It’s not an Argentinian restaurant when the menu contains monkfish tempura with yakisoba noodles, green curries, tandoori chicken wings with a guacamole dip, cajun spiced chicken fillets, gnocchi, and shellfish rigatoni.

It’s not an Argentinian restaurant when the only dish of the Americas is chimichangas: a deep-fried burrito and Tex-Mex creation.

It’s not an Argentinian restaurant – especially not a steakhouse – when the steak is not the delicious, richly flavoured beef of Argentina. No, this beef, the waitress informed me, is from Ireland. I’ve heard whispered travellers’ tales of Argentinian beef that left them in a trance; I’ve seen friends return from travelling the world with as much weight as a stick insect, while those who return via Argentina waddle back into my life with a few extra pounds of pure beefsteak. This steak, however, was not a piece of meat that could leave any discerning human being feeling satisfied.

It’s not an Argentinian restaurant when the steak is vastly overpriced, tasteless, tough, and infested with gristle. So poor is this restaurant that I almost felt sorry for the chefs working with such desperate ingredients. Almost – until my tasteless, tough rib-eye, priced at TWENTY-THREE EURO, turned out to be nowhere near the medium-rare I’d ordered. Somehow, it was rare in parts and overcooked in others. Quite an achievement. The only reason I ate it was because it was as bearable as any third-rate restaurant in any depressing three-star hotel, I was starving, giving it back would have meant no food at all, and I just didn’t have the fight in me. The pepper sauce was as acceptable as any powdered Knorr product.

As the restaurant, on a Saturday night, had somehow run out of both the mackerel with fennel and orange salad, as well as everyone’s favourite Argentinian starter – sesame crusted fish cakes with cucumber noodles and chilli jam – I ordered “bread with dips” for €4.50. The hummus tasted precisely like stodgy air, the pesto lacked any hint of pecorino cheese, and the third dip forgot its own existence. All were served with some miserable toasted baguette.

Somehow, this awful place has been open for several years, while all around it, much better restaurants are going bust. I can only assume that they’re sucking in a combination of tourists, people with no taste, suckers, and fools. At no point during our sad excuse for a meal did any waitress ask if everything was okay – presumably because she knew that, as a matter of course, the meal is never okay in this rip-off restaurant.

The chips were the only saving grace. Big, perfectly cut, crisp and fluffy, I wanted more.

Aside from that, this restaurant was met with near-universal derision by most of our party of ten, who felt that it was vastly overpriced with poor service and mediocre food. Except for myself, none of us could be described as particularly fussy.

A reminder: you’ll find a flawless rib-eye in Fallon and Byrne, an infinitely superior restaurant, plus a starter or dessert for €24; Le Bon Crubeen do a very good sirloin with chips and salad for €13; and The Larder run a special offer on steak plus chips and salad for €10. You’ll find two of the best steaks in Ireland at Aldi for just €12-14. All of those steaks vary in quality, but all are very good value. But if you’re in the mood for poor quality and bad value, the Buenos Aires Grill won’t let you down.


  1. You got a pretty clear opinion on this one Peter!I’ll take your word for it. (Living Social has just sold 1,036 vouchers for this restaurant, which might explain why all tables were taken)

  2. I get so annoyed when I’ve wasted money on bad food…its like a wasted meal!

  3. I honesty cant believe rjat place is still open! It was a dump even 6 years ago. Another place for great steak is Ryans of Parkhatr street. Lovely spot.

  4. Funny thing, I’ve been there 3 times, first time it was amazing, the meat was cooked to perfection, I could cut it with the back of the knife, if I had entered blindfolded and proved that striploin beef I would swear I was in Shanahan’s on the Green. With it I had a chimichurri sauce and a typical Argentinian dessert with dulce de leche.

    I was so amazed that I brought a couple of friends with me for the second round, and this time the meat was a bit overcooked and I guess my friends were about to ask why I was talking so much about Buenos Aires’ striploin steak.

    Third time was just to check. The steak was well cooked but the meat wasn’t as soft as the first time, the chimichurri sauce was tasteless and the typical Argentinian dessert was replaced by a crème brûlée (which was the highlight of the third visit).

    I can’t complain about the service, they were always on the spot even though the place was full on the three visits I made. Would I make a fourth visit? Probably… would I make a fifth visit if I am disappointed? Surely not.

    Just out of curiosity, I never asked them where the meat was from but my first visit to Buenos Aires was before the EU ban on Brazil’s beef. Could the difference in my experience be result of the ban?

  5. C’mon now Peter, stop beating around the bush.

    Tell us what you really think.

  6. Somehow, using Irish beef instead of imported, was made to sound like something restaurants shouldn’t do!

  7. I can just see your review being quoted as “the Buenos Aires Grill won’t let you down” 🙂

    I used to see this done all the time for London theatre reviews with short, out-of-context quotes !

  8. “Le Bon Crubeen do a very good sirloin with chips and salad for €13”. Not any more sadly. New head chef & menu, with Fillet of Beef for €24.

  9. @ J: I agree it’s better to use Irish food, but in this instance, I was curious to see where the steak was from. Irish beef is amongst the best in the world though; when I was a kid in the Middle East, the exported Irish beef was mind-blowingly amazing.

    @Gary: oh no! It did seem too good to be true. It was nice while it lasted though!

  10. I also love Irish beef, but I think if the restaurant is billing itself as an Argentinian Steakhouse it’s perfectly reasonable to expect Argentinian steak!

  11. Just curious, I used to go to Le Bon Crubeen quite a bit, has anyone been there since the new head chef took over? Bit apprehensive now that the prices have shot up!
    Also, they are looking for ‘chefs of all grades’ on good sign or no??

  12. Wow that a pretty damming review Peter, I had a great dinner in Buenos Aires Grill, about 2 months ago on a mid-week evening. The steaks were cooked exactly as we asked, the meat was great and the service was brilliant. Maybe you got them on a bad night or maybe the place has gone downhill in a big way since then.

  13. For steaks in Dublin I couldn’t recommed anywhere more highly than Darwins on Aungier St. I’ve been there many times and have taken in big groups from work. Altogether I’ve seen about 50 meals served to people that I know, and not a single one of them had a complaint about any part of their meals. Prices for steak range from €25-30, which lines up with a lot of Dublin restaurants.

  14. 15 euro for 30 euro worth of “delicious” Argentinian food at Buenos Aires grill via Except it’s NOT ARGENTINIAN FOOD, and you’d be better off spending that 15 euro on large mouthfuls of sewer air.

  15. Funny, I first heard of this place via their mobile unit, selling steak sandwiches from a venue one night. Grabbed one as I’d missed dinner and it was beautiful, tender, lovely fresh bread and great sauce. Quite disappointed to read this review as a result.

    And I have to second the Darwin’s recommendation. Velvety wow.

  16. You need to try Sabor Brazil …

    This place is rubbish, totally for people with no taste who would eat anything if it looked like a well done steak. Plenty of people with no idea what food should taste like.

    I’ve heard lots of rec’s for Darwins ..must get myself there. But really try Sabor Brazil!

  17. Being Argentinean myself, I agree with your review Peter.

    I would suggest you to try the Argentinean Bar in Haddington Road: it’s call Bondiola Argentina, and I highly recommend it.


  18. Went there one night mid week about two months ago for a steak with partner. Dreadful steak, full of gristle, like mine medium to rare, this was overcooked and over priced. Had some red wine which was putrid it was so bad. Wouldn’t go bad. Would highly recommend restaurant in the Radisson next door go for the early bird and also a big thumbs up to darwins on aungier St, excellent steak well cooked and certinly better choice of red wine. Also excellent food in the Whitefriar Grill further up Aungier Street but a little pricey but delicious and has an great wine list excellent whites by the glass.

  19. The Hoops went here armed with a City Deal voucher last year. Glad I did not pay full price – steaks were mediocre – plus NO atmosphere at all on a Sat night.

  20. Went to Buenos Aires Grill tonight with deal – “€39 for 4 course meal for 2 valued @ €80”. When handed menu my wife asked if there were any restrictions with the vouchers to which waitress said “oh that’s a completely different menu for you” and brought us a sheet of paper. The menu was VERY limited ie. 3 steaks / monkfish and some rabbit food.

    We ordered and my wifes rabbit food started arrived 20 minutes after the other 3 starters – after she had complained. She had asked if she could have an 8oz fillet rather than and 12oz ribeye and was told there was a €10 supplement. This in spite of the fact that on the main menu they are exactly the same price

    Monkfish was pretty good – steaks not so good. Overall quality of the food was adequate at best.

    Staff were very surly – overall it was a BAD DEAL and the kind of experience that puts me off buying these alleged “deals”.

    Won’t be going back there again.