Pad thai. Katsu curry. Chilli chicken ramen. Go to an Asian restaurant and those are pretty much the three dishes I always go for. Ok, so I haven’t previously chosen Asian restaurants that often, or I’d definitely have tried something new everytime.
The issue is, Alex is not a veggie man, so we look for a menu without too many options with veggies tied in – picking them out in public is not the coolest thing for a 25 year old to do. But when I’m with the girls, well that’s different. And after my recent Asian cuisine experience I certainly need to start getting my restaurant priorities right.
Asia de Cuba is a restaurant which brings together Latin and Asian ingredients, techniques and flavours.
Located inside the ground floor of the hotel at 45 St. Martin’s Lane, it radiated sophistication from the get-go. White table cloths, clean white walls filled with portraits and paintings, dark woods, a couple of dark feature walls and deep red leather booths and curtains, it had an almost movie set feel to it – they like to call it fun and whimsical.
The pillars or columns which decorated the upper part of the restaurant, were filled with terracotta potted plants, books, or picture frames which added a quirky yet cute touch, and adding to the contemporary edge.
Asia de Cuba has just launched a new summer menu, to add to its selection of Ceviches, Small Plates, Salads, Wok and Plancha options. I luckily got to be one of the first to give the new dishes a try.
Sharing starters is key here, as the ones on the new summer menu are all fresh, flavoursome and beautifully presented – you’ll definitely want to try more than one.
The Shrimp Ceviche , accompanied with juicy edamame, charred avocado, shiso and crunchy red onion, was one of my fave dishes of the evening.
The Roast Beetroot Salad, with miso and edamame pesto, changes perspectives on how this vegetable should be served, the flavours complimenting eachother perfectly.
The tomato salad, was no less outstanding. Prepared with 5 different homegrown tomatoes, tomato water, tomato gel, parsley puree, Asian basil, mint and parmesan sesame crisp, it blew my mind – how can something so simple, taste so superb?
The rest of the summer menu sure didn’t disappoint either.
The Steamed Sea bass, tender and flaky, was served in a light earthy mushroom consomme, with enoki mushrooms, edamame, soft spiced tofu, yuka and wok shimeji. The mushroom consomme surprisingly worked really well with the delicate flavours of the fish and tofu – a flavour combo I never would have paired myself beforehand.
One dish which caught the attention of many was the Coffee Crusted Ribeye. Marinated in coffee, sealed, given a coffee crust using ground beans, and finished on the grill, this rib eye was packed with flavour. Topped with a shiso mojito butter, which melted in the mouth, giving a creamier touch to the rich steak, this might possibly be the best steak I’ve had – and that’s saying something.
The steak was also served with roasted vine tomatoes and a wasabi miso potato gratin, which was more like a creamy mash with a potent wasabi taste shining through. Although a rich flavoursome side to accompany a rich dish, the two paired together well.
The Vegan Sofrito Pad Thai, served with shimeji mushroom, peppers, gai choi, bean shoots and peanuts, didn’t taste far from the meaty pad Thai I’d usually opt for. A mix of textures and flavours which came together beautifully, this noodle dish surprised me a little – maybe I need to order vegan more often!
And to finish…
The boozy Rum Baba, soft and moist, was served with a delicious yuzu jelly, chantilly cream and crispy coconut streusel. Another winning combination, which made for a fantastic dessert – I think this is what I’d order next time!
The Chocolate Avocado Mousse, rich, yet light and creamy, arrived with olive oil sponge, sesame tuile, pistachio and raspberries. You could just taste the avocado amongst the cocoa, and once again, another dish with a fantastic combo of flavours.
All enjoyed over a delicious, refreshing sugar cane mojito, served inside a tin which kept it nice and chilled, I have to say, this was one of the best meals I’ve had in recent memory.
With starters and small plates priced from £9, mains from £22, desserts at about £9, and cocktails £13, it’s on the higher end of the range, making it a great spot for a special occasion – it’s definitely worth splashing out a little more for!
Have you found a new spot which has blown your mind recently?
*I was invited along to an influencer event to try the new summer menu. All views my own.