With all the best things in life, you always wonder ‘why has nobody ever thought of this before? Asia de Cuba has just been added to that list. It’s brilliant. Located in the luxurious St Martins Lane Hotel, which is nestled between the bustling Leicester Square and Covent Garden, the restaurant has elegance and allure that only the finest restaurateur could conjure.
We were invited to the relaunch of Asia de Cuba last week and had high hopes having seen a sneak peak of the menu for the night and after several recommendations of the older smaller restaurant, we couldn’t wait to see what the team and created.
When we arrived, we were shown to the restaurant bar on the ground floor. The modern and sophisticated interior of the hotel really helped give the impression that we were in for something special. We kicked off with cocktails which didn’t fail to impress. Asia de Cuba really know their classics. The Mojito, Cuba Libre and Daiquiri were all spot on. If you are looking for something more unusual try one of their hand-crafted speciality cocktails like ‘Ditch Street’. A great concoction of Havana 3, Mezcal, Jalepono Honey, Ginger & Lime, it won’t fail to disappoint.
We were fortunate enough to sit with AdC’s Director of Operations, Nick Fielding, who walked us through the rejuvenated menu and the journey the team have been on to perfect it. It has been turned upside down by the new chefs Michael Hanbury and Luis Pous, and we can’t recommend it enough.
Once everyone was seated, we started with the Grouper Ceviche. This was something special. It was refreshing, light and full of flavour, but with Red snapper, Calamari, Shrimp, Scallops and Cobia on the menu, it makes for quite a difficult decision for would be diners! That is why Asia de Cuba recommends diners enjoy the sharing experience. The more people at the table the better, enabling you to truly get to grips with the menu’s finest offerings. The atmosphere feels almost family like, with lots of people chatting away, offering up their verdicts on presentation, textures and flavour pairings.
Following the opening dishes, we turned our attention to the new salad menu. As self-confessed carnivores, you rarely find us indulging in the rabbit food but we were pleasantly surprised to find a welcomed alternative to the ordinary offerings. Flavoursome and filling, our favourite was the ‘Crispy Calamari’, created with Banana, Chayote & Cashews.
Next we moved to the heavy hitters and the dishes most likely to resonate with readers and get their mouths watering. The much-revered Rocoto Black Cod and also the Seven Spice Chicken were simply excellent. Presented beautifully and tender on the palate, we couldn’t believe how each dish somehow bettered the last! A true infusion of Asian and central American cuisine.
If you thought that was the end you’d be mistaken, then came the showstopper. El Lechon. A giant plate of Cuban style Slow Roasted Pork was brought to the table and presented with generous portions of crisp salty crackling, black beans, fried rice and Chinese eggplant. The pork was cooked perfectly and with sauces from both Cuba and Asia, we went back and forth from one fantastic mouthful to the next. Trust us when we say that this is a must have for anyone visiting!
Finally, we were treated to a sampling of the deserts. The Guava whipped layered Cheesecake melted in your mouth and was visually stunning and the rich and indulgent Mexican Doughnuts were served warm, with a choice of Caramel or Thai Chilli Chocolate. Crispy on the outside but soft and warm on the inside, a little slice indulgence to finish the evening.
Asia de Cuba is the perfect marriage of cuisines. Fresh, vibrant, elegant and moreish. It really does have that wow factor. So if you want to impress, or plan to dine out with a party of friends, Asia de Cuba is definitely one option to be taken seriously.
We The Food Snobs x