48 Lower Marsh
020 7928 8778
BYLINE: Rachel Mulrenan
With its Latino beats and mean mojitos, Cubana is an eclectic mash-up of Latin America and the Caribbean, in the heart of Waterloo. A larger-than-life painting of a woman on the side of the building implores you to ‘join the party’, and a party atmosphere is certainly the vibe here.
Walking into the bar and restaurant, you leave the grey streets of London far behind. Multi-coloured fairy lights snake around the bar area; religious memorabilia, Cuban political posters and flags hang on the brightly coloured walls, and upbeat Latino music fills the air.
We began with a round of refreshing mojitos, made with fresh lime juice and Ron Caney, an imported Cuban Rum that the bar has to order two weeks in advance. The mojitos, reasonably priced at £5.50, are a bargain during the daily happy hour (5-7pm), when they are two-for-one. The bar also offers a large selection of non-alcoholic drinks including fresh fruit smoothies.
Cubana prides itself on its extensive Latin American, Creole and Cuba-inspired menu, all of which is ethically sourced. We began with skewers of tasty chicken, chorizo, pepper and onion, served with salsa verde, and Cuban-style falafels, made with chickpeas and plantain.
For our mains, my vegetarian friend had spicy tuna fishcakes, flavoured with lime, ginger and chilli. I tried the house specialty- marinated slow-roasted shredded pork, served with a sweet coconut-flavoured sauce that complimented the salty meat, with rice, black beans and fried plantain.
For dessert we had the ‘Chocolate Comandante’, a rich Cuban chocolate mousse, as well as a delicious home-made coconut mousse, a snip at £3.50.
At the weekends Cubana turns into a late night salsa club, with live Cuban and Latin American bands performing from 11pm until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights (entry is £5 after 11pm). They also have midweek live music on Wednesday and Thursday nights until 1am.
Cubana is an unpretentious, fun and affordable bar and restaurant, perfect for an evening of food, drink and dancing.
– Mojitos x 4- £22
– Chicken and chorizo skewers- £4.50
– Falafel- £4
– Spicy tuna fishcakes- £7
– Slow-roasted pork- £9
– Chocolate Comandante- £4
– Coconut mousse- £3.50