Thursday, 19 June 2014

Cubana - Waterloo

“This is a Cuban restaurant Lord, Cuba aren’t in the World Cup Lord!” Don’t panic, I’ve not lost the plot (yet). For you see, there are no Costa Rican restaurants anywhere in London, in fact there is only one in the whole of the UK and that is in Whitby (of all places?!), so I have had to deputise.
Gallo Pinto is the breakfast dish in Costa Rica, in fact it is considered the national dish both there and in neighbouring Nicaragua. Gallo Pinto literally means ‘spotted rooster’ in Spanish but is actually just in essence rice and beans. It is also popular in Cuba, but there it is known as ‘Moros y Cristianos’ hence my trip to a Cuban restaurant.
Cubana is situated on Lower Marsh, just behind Waterloo station, a great little high street with a few independent restaurants and a string of street food stalls catering for office workers and commuters. On the corner, with a big mural of a lady dancing painted over two stories of the restaurant sits Cubana;it is difficult to miss. Inside the colourful atmosphere continues with Cuban flags and lots of bright blue & yellow. The replica guns on the walls were a little unnerving, but overall it was a nice vibe.

Unfortunately for me Cubana doesn’t open until midday, so I was straving by the time I got stuck into the Gallo Pinto. I have got to say it was better than I had expected and nowhere near as dry as I thought it might be but if I'm honest it didn’t really get my pulse racing with excitement either. It would probably be fairer to compare this brekkie to a bowl of Weetabix or bran flakes, rather than some of the goodies I have enjoyed from the other nations and it would score well if I did. In fairness to the kitchen, there was a fantastic smell wafting through the place, sweet and spicy flavours from the extensive lunch menu and what I saw on other tables looked great.

The coffee is worth a mention too, Alma de Cuba coffee beans grown on the island, made for a delicious latte.

The verdict
Cool restaurant on a street worth an explore for all you foodies. The rating is for Gallo Pinto at breakfast time, which just isn’t very exciting!


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