I had the Cuban blues, so I went to cure them at St Martin’s Lane Hotel’s slick Asia De Cuba. Spoiler alert: it worked.
Launched last September, Asia De Cuba’s signature Chino-Latino brunch gives diners the hard choice to pickÂ either a cocktail (Â£48) or champagne and cocktail (Â£70)Â bottomless brunch. Devised by Cuban-born executive chefÂ Luis Pous, theÂ brunch is made of three courses: a selection of starters, a main and never-ending doughnuts. Can’t complain, really.
Needless to say, we picked the Champagne option, kicking off the weekend with a glass of Perrier-JouÃ«t. I couldn’t bring myself to drink a Mojito after Havana’s marvellous, 50p drinks, so I picked a Bellini instead. And what a Bellini that was:Â made with Champagne instead of Prosecco, it’s the perfect dessert drink.
The brunch started with fried plantain and malanga chips accompanied by a delicious, unusual black bean hummus, keeping to the Cuban traditional side of black beans that accompany every pork dish. The selection of starters is as cute as it gets, served in a cigar box with mini Cuban sandwiches, shrimp churros and ceviche de pescado. Also in the cigar box was a tasty, sweet and savoury crispy wonton and a fantastic ropa vieja spring roll.
As part of each brunch option, diners canÂ choose a signature main course fromÂ the A La Carte menu. We went for the amazing Breakfast In The Fields, with two scrambled eggs , grilled halloumi cheese, avocado, roasted tomato, mushrooms and grilled asparagus on a delicious tomato pitta.
Last but not least came dessert, a divine, balanced, just-enough-sweet Mexican doughnuts, which I tried both in their saltedÂ caramel and Thai chili-chocolate version.
If you’re looking for a weekend treat, there’s no other way to say it: it doesn’t get much better than Asia De Cuba. The restaurant, whichÂ reopened its doors in April 2015, is an oasis of class and relax in the busy Covent Garden. The staff will look after you discreetly every step of the way. The setting is relaxing, iconic, Roman Holiday style and the food is among the best you will taste in London.
The restaurant’s chef Luis Pous, who grew up and trained as a chef in Cuba,Â does a great job showcasing the best of the Cuban cuisine and intertwining it withÂ Havana’s Chinese influences, brought by the city’s Chinatown.
Asia de Cuba is the brainchild of restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow, who grew up inÂ Miami, frequently eating Cuban food with his family. The original location of Asia deÂ Cuba opened in October 1997 at 237 Madison Avenue in NYC and received a Bib Gourmand designation from the Michelin GuideÂ in 2011.
Pictures: Asia de Cuba
45 St Martin’s Lane
Available every Saturday and Sunday from 12pm â€“ 4pm
â€¢ Cocktail Brunch: unlimited Mojitos, Mimosas,Â Bellinis or bespoke Bloody Marys, Â£48 per person
â€¢ Champagne Brunch: unlimited glasses ofÂ Perrier-JouÃ«t champagne, Â£70 per person