First Impressions – Asia De Cuba

Asia De Cuba is an Asian influenced Cuban restaurant with arty décor and a somewhat tapas eating style. The restaurant is on St Martin’s Lane in a fancy looking hotel – just a couple minutes away from busy Leicester Square station.

This isn’t our first time here; we dined here about a year ago with a group of friends in the private dining room, which has a completely different style to the restaurant itself. The private room is all white with a main table that seats about 10 – it does look extremely pretty and ‘extravagant’ – and we all shared a set menu. This time we dined in the main restaurant, and I was really surprised with its arty décor, which is completely different to the private room.

We walk through the hotel lobby to the restaurant and are checked in by two-maître d’s and one of them walks us to our table. Our friendly waiter comes over and introduces himself and hand us the food menu, and the cocktails and wine list – I let him know that we don’t drink alcohol and would like non-alcoholic cocktails. Instead of going for my usual virgin mojito I ask the waiter to recommend us drinks, which were both surprisingly nice.

Review of the food

Starters

For starters I went for the Black Bean & Plantain Empanadas that comes with a sweet & sour sauce, and Chicken Charrones with both the onion mojo and sesame soy glazed sauce. The empanadas were amazing, just as I remembered them the first time when they were a hit with everyone else; the sweet & sour sauce was a bit watery for me but still tasty and goes really well with the empanadas. The charrones were basically fried chicken with some pastry; it was okay, but not spectacular.

Amen had the Red Snapper ceviche; he thought it was tasty and pleasant. The ceviche did come with Plantain chips though, which I mostly ate. He also had the Crispy Octopus Al Ajillo, he loved it; thought it was delicious and the best thing on the menu.

Mains

For my main I had the only chicken dish on the menu – the Seven Spice Half Chicken that comes on a bed of peas, mushroom and a couple slices of plantain. The chicken is a good portion and was really tasty and tender. I couldn’t finish it so of course Amen had some too. I did order Yuca fries too, but only had a few; they were good. Amen went for the Rocoto Glazed Black Cod, which he thought had a weird taste and consistency. Although he finished it, he wouldn’t rank it near the top of black cod dishes he’s had.

Dessert

We still had some room for dessert and mint tea, so I had the Mexican Doughnuts with caramel sauce and Amen had the Guava Whipped Layered Cheesecake (waiter recommended the cheesecake). My doughnuts were good but I do prefer chocolate instead of caramel sauce; they only had the option of thai chilli chocolate. Amen loved his cheesecake but not so much the dehydrated tropical fruit on it that he picked off.

Verdict

Asia De Cuba has great customer service with good-sized portion of food, but it can get fairly expensive. The restaurant is a good choice for a date in central London, especially being so close to theatres in Leicester Square. It’s also very accommodating with large groups either in the restaurant or in the private room.

Dress Code: Smart Casual
Cuisine: Cuban, Asian, Latin American
Amen’s Star Dish: Crispy Octopus Al Ajillo
Shiima’s Star Dish: Seven Spice Half Chicken
Price: £30 – £40
Rating: 3.7 out of 5


Asia De Cuba
45 St Martin’s Lane
London
WC2N 4HX
http://asiadecuba.com/london
Tel: 0207 300 5588
Call to book, OpenTable or visit their website

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