Daniel Walters finds Cuban food and cocktail fun in a hotel in London
There’s an atmospheric alcove tucked away in a corner on the ground floor of the St Martin’s Lane Hotel; this is Asia de Cuba, home of authentic Cuban cuisine. South American music and colourful bookshelves dispersed around the open-plan dining room create an ambiance of buzz and energy, offering up a feast for the eyes and ears to complement that of the food.
Sipping a mojito while we mulled over the menu, the warm, friendly waiter helpfully pointed us in the direction of the braised short rib spring rolls, the tuna tartare tacos, and the crispy calamari salad. He knew what he was talking about – the tacos were a particular delight, with the Spanish olives adding a unique and very welcome flavour to the tuna tartare wrapped in crispy wonton!
For mains we couldn’t say no to the coffee-crusted ribeye steak, which came with creamy wasabi mash, and the rocoto-glazed black cod, which was perfectly complemented by the avocado puree. Add in bowls of yuca fries and plantain fried rice to share, and we were very well fed! Washed down with cocktails bursting with flavour and a South American twist, the Jump Up & Kiss Me Twice was both fresh and fruity, with Havana rum a nice touch in keeping with the Cuban theme.
Naturally, the Mexican doughnuts dipped in caramel were a must for dessert. Absolutely delicious, and an absolute treat, they cannot be recommended enough, especially alongside an espresso martini to complete the food frenzy.
We made the absolute most of our TRC card to take in the culinary delights of St Martin’s Lane’s best foodie find, all at a 30% discount!