- Location: The Cuban Bar, 1 Ropemaker Street, London, EC2Y 9AW (nearest tube is Moorgate)
- Date of Visit: Friday 5th October 2012
- Time of Table: 7.00pm
- Deal Bought From: Groupon
- Deal Price: £23.95 for Two
- Dinner Companion: Twin sister, Jess
Getting More for your Money?
This dinner deal includes:
- Nine Cuban Tapas dishes
- Jug of Sangria or Two Mojitos
- For Two people
What we ate…
- Grilled Flat Breads
- Quesadillas Chilli Beef
- Serrano Ham and Salamis
- Rump Steak Strips on Jalapeno Houmous
- Cuban Spiced Chicken Tenders
- Spiced Plantain and Sweet Potato Crisps
- Parilo Chorizo and Haloumi Skewers
- Potatas Bravas
- Fried Brie
What we drank…
- Two jugs of Sangria
- One Mojito
- One Tequila Sunrise
What did we think?
Completely culturally alluring and with an exciting, spicy atmosphere, this bright orange bubble of Cuban personality really sings out loud and proud amidst the very serious and imposing high rise glass structures surrounding it. Literally a five minute walk from Moorgate station, this makes The Cuban Bar a fantastically accessible venue, especially for getting back to Liverpool Street, the hub of almost any train home. As we walked in, the welcoming warmth of the place enveloped you and it was already garnering quite a trade, even though we arrived at about 6.50pm.
It has a very casual and relaxed atmosphere that I must say initially confused us! We had reserved a table but no one approached us so we had no idea where to go. It looks quite small on first glancing around, with the bar tucked in one corner, with smallish tables and chairs scattered around the floor. However, after walking around in search of the staff, we explored downstairs, which housed a surprisingly large wooden dance floor, complete with DJ and sofas around the edges. We knew that they held salsa classes on Wednesdays and Saturdays so this fabulous dance space must be where they test out their moves. We eventually found someone who led us to our table back near the bar.
The walls were painted a loud orange, with smiling black and white photography hanging up, and exotic plants offered some greenery to really give a comfortable atmosphere, with Cleopatra style music beating in the background. We were put on a table of four even though it was just two of us, which I was surprised about, but also immensely pleased about once they began bringing us out our food, which just about managed to fit across the table. This was only my second time having tapas, and I was looking forward to sampling the French, Spanish, African and Caribbean inspired flavours, served on classically clean white circular plates.
Since tapas is only really small, picky bits, you would expect it to not really be that filling. However, the succulent dishes at The Cuban Bar had me scoffing and the nine dishes between the two of us left us really full. Normally with a tapas menu, it’s hard to pick nine dishes that you like the sound of, but we had the opposite problem – we liked the sound of all of them which was great. The chorizo was absolutely beautiful as where it had been char-grilled, it had really brought the flavour to the surface. I also particularly liked the perfectly cooked rump steak strips that had a really peppery coating on them which packed a flavourful punch. The quesadillas was something I had never tried before, and reminded me of an inside out pizza, with bread on the outside, and the meaty, tomato filling on the inside. I think this was probably the spiciest thing that we had and it was still really manageable, so if you don’t have a head for hot food, you don’t have to worry at all.
The dishes were all beautifully presented with a green smattering of dressing covered salad, as well as rectangular cut pitta flat breads which were gorgeous dunked in the generous pots of houmous. I enjoyed getting stuck into the various dips with the dishes, including a rich salsa with the potato cubes and a cooling sour cream style dip, which was ideal with the bread crumbed chicken strips. The fried brie served with cranberry sauce was the nod at popular French cuisine widely adopted over here and it did not disappoint (I am a big melted, gooey cheese fan).
On the whole, I thought the food was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed it all. I could very gladly have sat eating it all night! Included in the deal, was also a jug of sangria, which I pushed for rather than the mojito due to my penchant for the boozy Spanish beverage. Luckily for us, we finished the first jug at 7.30pm, and with happy hour continuing until 8.00pm, we quickly re-stocked with another delicious jug of fruit laden sangria as well as a cocktail each since The Cuban Bar have a very impressive array of almost any cocktail under the sun, or sunset as the case may be as I opted for another one of my faves a Tequila Sunrise – definitely one of the strongest I have ever had! Jess went for the cooling Mojito which was more limey and citrus than mint flavoured, which she preferred.
Making a second reservation? I definitely would to enjoy these tasty tapas again, but I also like the sound of their Chicken and Chorizo Paella…with more sangria of course!
The Dinner Dates Opinion:
“Other than the bit of an awkward start with not knowing quite who to ask about our table, it was a really good night. The food was tasty; I want to try more and I don’t think the prices are too expensive. The drinks were great and as a cocktail fan I was pleased with the range and that they also weren’t too expensive. It was a really fun atmosphere and I would definitely like to go there again, and the convenient location means it will probably be fairly soon too!”