Until last year Alma de Cuba wasn’t even on my radar, mainly because it’s located on Seel Street and 99% of the time when I’m there I’m bleary eyed and making a beeline for Peacock at 1am. Last Valentine’s Day though my oh so romantic other half booked us a table there and a whole new love affair began. We recently headed back to sample their new summer menu and I can confirm our budding relationship is still going strong.
The food at Alma de Cuba is second to none but we’ll come to that in a minute. Because one of the best things about this place is the building itself. A former church, it may not look like anything too special from the outside but boy oh boy does the inside deliver. Stained glass windows, exposed beams and chandeliers on chandeliers this place is the ultimate in luxury interior goals. The restaurant is upstairs and overlooks the bar area below meaning you can munch on your starters whilst doing a spot of people watching if the mood takes you. Another thing that got my approval was the staff. Just the right side of attentive without being overbearing they made sure we had all that we needed and more, these guys are customer service at its finest.
On to the good stuff though, the food. I can’t lie, I’m a simple gal. I like simple food and when it gets all artsy and fancy that’s when you lose me. Despite Alma de Cuba verging on the fine dining end of the spectrum the menu options are still simple enough to keep me happy. For starters we went for the Sweet Potato and Chorizo croquettes and the Scallops and Black Pudding. The croquettes were unreal and even though I was only allowed one bit my dining partner assures me they were a solid 10/10. I was more than content to enjoy my scallops and black pudding combo which were served with a chilli jam which I could have eaten by the bucket load. I could have done without all the greenery and beans but it was hardly a task to eat around them.
For mains we both went for the Chicken Supreme (we did try to choose different options for the sake of this review but it just sounded too god damn good). OK so it didn’t look amazing but who cares when it tastes top notch. Chicken with a slightly spiced skin on top of creamy mushroom and pancetta pasta. FYI I am seriously regretting writing this so close to lunch time my mouth is WATERING. You know a meal is good when you don’t utter a word to each other and we were sat in pure, content silence as we gobbled it up. With enough flavour to stop it being bland and boring but not too much going on that you don’t know what to eat first, this was the ideal dish for a summers evening. We also opted for a side of onion rings which as far as onion rings go were pretty decent, the only thing was we were so full we hardly touched them.
Once upon a time I was a dessert gal through and through. Lately though I’d much rather go ham on the starters and if there’s no room left for something sweet then so be it. To be completely honest there wasn’t anything on their dessert menu that stood out although I was debating the chilli chocolate brownie, I just chickened out at the last minute. I was so full already though I’d have had to roll home if I’d stuffed a dessert in too. Every cloud right?
All in all the summer menu at Alma de Cuba is top notch and if you’re looking for somewhere for a special occasion then I’d firmly place these guys at the top of your list. Alma de Cuba are running various offers throughout the summer including Mojito Mondays and Wine and Dine Tuesdays. Be sure to check out their website for more details.