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“Poor!” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of La Pampa Grill - CLOSED

La Pampa Grill
Price range: $12 - $50
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Neighborhood: Clapham / Battersea 
Description: Aiming at rustic allure and (sort of) urban cool, Pampa Grill manages to miss both - although soft lighting and candles make it a fair choice for a date. First-daters, however, should avoid or share the aubergine starter, which tasted mainly of garlic. Like the decor, the rest of the meal was pleasant yet unconvincing. Bread and butter appears automatically, but is charged for (£1.95). Our steak was delicious, though cooked longer than wanted and not as tender as we expected from an Argentina-themed steakhouse. Grilled chicken breast was tasty and generously portioned, unlike the accompanying vegetables. La Pampa's piece de resistance may well be the chunks of potato it serves as chips: crackling on the outside, with a melt-in-the-mouth interior. Desserts include light and subtly lemon-flavoured pancakes, and a fresh, floppy creme caramel. A decent, extensive wine list offers moderately priced regional classics and a couple of big-budget choices. Our waiter was friendly and attentive (although we sat outside, he made sure we were looked after), but the bar-woman seemed grumpy and hostile. Tellingly, on a Thursday night there were 20-plus empty seats.
Horsham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Poor!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2013

I was so disappointed with this place, I should have known better when there were cobwebs around our table and they refused to give us another table even though the restaurant was empty. Then the food came out.... The steak was over cooked and my wife's chicken was dry. When I complained they simply said they'd try better next time. It's over priced and simply poor, avoid at all costs! The only good thing were the chips....oh and there was a fly in my lemonade. Also no one came to our table to ask if our food was ok.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank RonnieB862
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

51 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    17
    10
    5
    7
    12
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
London
Level Contributor
63 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Bland, overpriced and non-authentic”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2013

This restaurant claims to be Argentinian, but it isn't remotely so (I am Argentinian and my sister is a chef, so I should know). There is no single member of staff (cook included!) or management that is Argentinian. The menu is varied, there is no doubt about that, but the food is more "fusion" –to give it a name, somehow– than anything, and none of the dishes is tasty. Very bland. The empanadas have a bit of a stew inside, not the real filling. The meat, even if you ask for medium, comes raw, not even rare; it shows the BBQ skills of the cook are not up to scratch. It was closer to sushi than a real bloodily juice steak. They offer side orders that no Argentinian restaurant in Argentina would serve. The chimichurri (a very simple sauce/dip usually to put on the meat) was some kind of an oily vinaigrette. As for desert, the pancakes with dulce de leche were a disaster: they had an invisible smear of dulce de leche on them, were stodgy and thick and were server with ice-cream!!!! The ambiance is non-existent: they play Central American tunes (probably because the owner is Colombian) and the decor is mostly of American Indians and some rather odd looking tango dancers. To top it all off, it is incredibly overpriced and the service is very slow... well, they they do not forget your order altogether. It goes without saying they did not get a tip from me. It is a truly disappointing.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank MadMax70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“I don't understand the negative reviews - as good as it used to be.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 12, 2013

I used to live in Clapham and visited La Pampa Grill frequently. I hadn't been in about 4 years so after seeing all the negative reviews I was a little anxious about going there again.

I needn't be anxious at all. The staff were their usual friendly self (if you speak Spanish, you can practice here as most of them are Spanish speaking which does help add to that authenticity) the décor was still up to standard, and intimate, the restaurant is clean, and sitting at the back you get the joy of seeing into the kitchen.

We were there for nearly 2 hours and only towards the end were we getting ushered to pay the bill which was a little bit of a downer, but they were extremely polite about it so it really didn't phase us at all.

The cuts of meat were great, and cooked well, we had 4 different cooking lengths, I like my steaks blue, and there was a rare, medium rare, and rare to well done - they all came out as requested (by my standards at least). However, other than an interesting discussion on different nation's standards on what blue/rare/medium is the steaks were finished with joy. The steaks are large, so no need for any starters in my opinion and sharing the sides is worthwhile. The rump steak I had was close to 20oz it filled my plate - as any good Argentinian steak should! The ribeye looked good too - juicy and tender, the knife went through it like butter.

The potato sides are lovely in my opinion, the sautéed potatoes are probably my favourite, cooked with rosemary and onions - yum!

All in all, I think it's a great little restaurant - the wine list is good (a little expensive - but typical restaurant mark up really) however the quality of the wines are great.

I'm not a desert fiend, so I cannot comment on them.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank William R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Turin, Italy
Level Contributor
23 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Really not worth it”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2012

I'm Argentinean, so I guess I was expecting something different. This is just not a good Argentinean restaurant. Neither in terms of the quality of the food the serve, nor in terms of authenticity. And, let's be clear here: Argentinean food is no rocket science. It's simply getting a good steak, and accompanying it with good chips and salad. The steak was good, though not exceptional. The chips fatty and oily. The salad already dressed and with a French style vinnagrette. Fatty chips and an already-French-dressed salad would never be served in an Argentinean restaurant... So, guess what. The owner is not Argentinean, but Colombian. That also explains why the Empanada (the only slightly more skill-demanding Argentinean dish) was so catastrophic, and why the 'chimichurri' (an Argentinean condiment based mainly on garlic, parsley, oregano and pepper) was something I had never seen before. Finally, overpriced.

My recommendation: if you want to have an Argentinean-style dinner, for God sake, just avoid this place.

PS: the play salsa... just like if someone some Greek running an Italian restaurant in Sweden thought a good idea to play Zorba's soundtrack as typical music matching the ambiance.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank James D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Basingstoke, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
93 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Great food - at an amazing little restaurant”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2012

Remembered La Pampa from when I live in London - 13 years ago and went back with friends and had an amazing dinner - the cuts of meat and the preparation was divine. Steak done to perfection with great vegatables - done just right - and great wine all for a very good price - meant a great meal had by all.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Randall H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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