What do you think of when you picture Cuban food? More to the point – what springs to mind when you throw Asian flavours into the mix? We were about to find out at Dubai’s newest fusion eatery, Asia de Cuba. Having made its name on the culinary and nightlife scene of New York, London and Bahrain; the internationally-renowned Chino-Latino restaurant and lounge has opened its doors in The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi, replacing China Grill.
Set across two floors of stunning dining space, the new interiors that Asia de Cuba Dubai now occupies reflects the same classic and enchanting décor as its counterparts at the St. Martin’s Lane Hotel in London and in Manhattan, New York, with a sublime Dubai twist. Compared to the days of China Grill, the space is surprisingly much lighter and brighter, with plants splattering the walls, pops of colourful art work and lots of light, both in the booths and on the tables that fill the inner circle of the restaurant.
Transporting you straight to South America through a carnival-like atmosphere created by reggaetón beats and a live Latino band, the Asia de Cuba signature experience starts with the drinks. Offering an impressive Craft Cocktail menu incorporating a plethora of rich, tropical flavours, we loved the restaurant’s variations of the Classic Pisco and Bellini. From booze to bites, the menu consists of five main sections – ceviche, sushi, small plates, entrées and Cuban barbecue. Drinks in hand, menus at the ready and pillows propped behind our backs preparing us for the feast, the food arrived thick and fast, starting with a range of ceviche, sushi and small plates.
Fusing Asian influence with Latin food and culture, the aim is for all the dishes to draw inspiration from the vibrant and passionate lifestyle and cuisine of Panama, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Whilst the notion was great, the Ceviche and Sushi didn’t quite hit the nail on the head on this occasion. The sushi was rather tough and lacked flavour, and whist the Ceviche was great, it looked and tasted more like Sashimi. We also tried the Fire & Ice Prawn Salad which was delicious, containing heavy influences from Thailand.
Mains were the highlight and are a very good reason to visit Asia de Cuba again and again! First, the Short Rib Vaca Frita, a delicious piece of 48-hour Adobo Braised Beef with asian BBQ sauce and Thai Chilli Chimichurri; second, the Roasted Suckling Pig (yes you heard me correctly – PIG!) with Black Beans (my fave), Mojo Chino (basically grilled bananas) and Steamed Coconut Rice. The rib honesty was cooked to perfection however the pig blew us out of the water – the crackling especially was OUTSTANDING – best in Dubai!
We finished on a sugar high (though fit to burst) with the Dolce De Leche Chocolate Pud and Pistachio Ice Cream – bravo Asia de Cuba, bravo!
And if that wasn’t enough to look forward to, in the cooler months you’ll be able to dine al fresco on Asia De Cuba’s terrace, which will be home to a range of bohemian range of hanging plants and South American inspired seating – we can’t wait!
For more information, please visit asiadecuba.com/dubai