The perfect venue for fun nights out…
The Stables Market, NW1 8AH
t: 0207 424 0692 | www.thecuban.co.uk
Tucked away in Camden’s famous Stables Market, The Cuban is a colourful, cantina-style restaurant that has been providing traditional Cuban-inspired food and drink, live music and dancing lessons for local residents and visitors for over a decade. We visited on a sunny afternoon earlier this month and, feeling a bit worse for wear having celebrated The Grumpy Chef’s birthday the previous evening, we were grateful for the relaxed atmosphere and the array of exciting drinks and tempting tapas dishes on offer.
Deciding that a little hair of the dog was in order, we started our meal with a round of cocktails: a blood-red Flaming Kiss with a punchy chilli kick for me, and a zesty Amaretto Sour with a sweet marzipan flavour for the hubby. As we sipped our respective hangovers away, we imagined returning with friends on a hot summer’s night for a boozy Salsa or Bachata session. Suitably refreshed and revitalised, we then tucked into what can only be described as a Cuban feast comprising six colourful and very generously portioned tapas dishes. Our chosen selection included sweet potato chips, Padrón peppers, patatas bravas, breaded calamari, pan-fried chorizo and nachos rancheros with ground chilli beef. Whilst there were certainly some tasty elements to this meal, it wasn’t quite as good in the end as we’d hoped it would be. The bravas sauce was more like salsa in terms both its flavour and texture, the calamari was overcooked leaving it rubbery and chewy, and the nachos were disappointingly dry due to the accompanying chilli beef lacking any kind of sauce. All was not lost, however, as the Padrón peppers were juicy and perfectly seasoned, and the sweet potato chips, which weren’t soggy like they often can be, but fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside, were some of the best we’ve ever sampled.The chorizo, served in a rich tomato sauce, was also good, presenting a decent balance of spices. For dessert, a huge slab of chocolate brownie served with vanilla ice cream and accompanied by a nice big mug of tea finished our meal with a much needed touch of comfort. Needless to say, we weren’t able to polish off each dish completely, but we certainly gave it a pretty good go!
Whilst the food we had was a bit disappointing the drinks menu here is excellent and very reasonably priced, with the most expensive cocktail costing just £9.95, and there’s a good selection of non-alcoholic mocktails and a wide selection of spirits, wine and Champagne to choose from. The Cuban’s sister venue in Bristol is also now up and running and is currently offering a bargain two-for-one deal on all food items from midday to 3pm and on all cocktails until 6pm throughout the summer. Boasting a rustic, low-lit interior and providing live music, DJ sets and Cuban dancing lessons throughout the week, this place is well worth visiting for fun nights out and casual feasting with family and friends.