"A really good find!"Review Rating: Reviewed by KimT
After a meeting with an editor in the City who is also a good friend, we wanted to relax and have a bit of a chat. Whilst there are lots of places to eat in the City, the sterile new office developments around Moorgate didn’t inspire us but we wondered around Citypoint until we spied the orange façade and outside tables of The Cuban.
The Cuban music immediately created a favourable impression and the orange décor made it cheerful and suitably relaxed. There’s a long bar here (apparently with an extensive range of rums) and the tables are far apart enough that you feel you have some privacy whilst still being in the midst of things. I was a little irritated at the wall mounted TV screens (a hangover from the World Cup - but these were clearly appreciated by several lone office worker diners) but the impressive and evocative wall images (including Ernesto "Che" Guevara and Caribbean villages) diverted my attention.
As you walk downstairs to visit the loos you find a number of further large seating areas in cosy nooks and it’s truly impressive when you enter a great hall of a bar down there which must be a vibrant delight in the evenings when it is full. I bet there’s dancing - a real party venue.
My mojito (£6.95), as you would expect in a Cuban bar, was perfect. My friend opted for a classic Negroni (£6.95) – gin, vermouth, bitters which she appeared to thoroughly enjoy.
There’s an extensive tapas menu – three for £11.95, six for £22.50 or nine for £32.95. As well as all the regulars there are a number of surprises too – like spiced plaintain and sweet potato crisps, coconut cream mussels and rump steak strips. They also offer a traditional paella – with chicken and chorizo (£11.95), seafood (£13.95) and vegetarian (£10.95) versions. The Cuban style roast chicken (whole £14.95, half £10.95 and quarter £7.95) looked interesting – with garlic, thyme, red onions and lime served with either cristianos and moros (rice and black beans) or hand cut chips and a choice of glaze. There’s also a selection of steaks (£14.95 to £16.95).
My friend tucked into a honey glazed duck breast salad (£12.95) which arrived with roasted pineapple and fried plantain sauce, leaves, cherry tomatoes, red onion and avocado. She enjoyed it immensely. Meanwhile I had the blackened spiced salmon fillet (£11.95) with Cajun spices, a chive, lemongrass and chilli butter and cous cous with a citrus and sour cream dressing. This was light and delicious. We finished off with coffees – macchiato (£2.10) and double espresso (£2.20).
The Cuban was a really good find – the food excellent, the environment relaxed and fun and the service brisk but not unfriendly. I loved the lower bar area and plan to return there soon in the evening to see how it comes alive. There’s a sister restaurant in Camden.
KimT reviewed The Cuban - City on Tue 07 Sep 2010