Asia de cuba - St Martins lane hotel
(Morgans hotel group)
I have not been to ANY restaurant in London three times, okay maybe the local curry house but besides that I haven't been to no London restaurant has had the pleasure of my appearance as much as Asia de cuba has.
My boyfriend had been banging on about this place for some time, he has been years ago with his then company, he couldn't actually remember much of the evening but remembered that the Tuna was amazing. That was enough for me, when the opportunity finally arose I booked us a table to celebrate his birthday.
Asia de cuba has this contagious energy about it, fruity salsa music plays through the speakers and the design gives the room a warm , bright, welcoming feel. I felt more like downing cocktails and showing off my dodgy salsa moves than eating, apart from the grinding that's exactly what I did.We shared a punch bowl to begin, and let me tell ya they are not tight with the booze .So Already in love and I have yet to eat a thing.
We also had a bottle of wine of the table which made me feel really good about life. I'm already giggling and generally being a bit of an irritating tit and we are half an hour in. Yes me. Yes punch-bowl.
We ordered the taster menu , which for £60.00 each included the signature dishes of Calamari salad, Tuna with Wasabi mash, Cuban chicken and coconut rice and trio of desserts.
Very glad we went for this. Well worth it. The Calamari salad was like no salad I've ever tasted before. It comprised of Frisse, Radicchio , Palm hearts, nuts and banana (which worked a treat), this was all generously topped with the crispy coated ,tender Calamari.
Next came the Tuna which gave me an actual orgasm, I know that sounds gross and you may feel I'm being over the top however please do believe me, this is a true story. I actually groaned out loud as the waiter topped up my wine. It meh-ellllts in your mouth. I dream of this Tuna all the time ..... *drools*. The accompanying Wasabi mash was creamy with just the right amount of heat from the Wasabi to compliment the sex tuna.
The Cuban chicken which is cooked in coffee was almost as dreamy, with its crispy skin and tender meat the coffee is not at all overpowering , more like a char, the accompanying rice wrapped in banana leaf is fluffy as it should be and you get a nice portion of it too. I was starting to feel extremely full at this point. Making the Trio of desserts a tough ask to get in after this feast but I managed and I'm glad I did. The doughnuts deserve an award, or atleast a heavy pat on the back.
My other visits to Asia de cuba were once with a friend at lunch time... we had the lunch deal which was again all cooked to perfection, the place was empty though so missed out on the atmosphere, which you realise is a massive part of this place, like with anywhere I suppose.The other visit was a group of friends, we got really pissed, had some fantastic drinks, a huge glass dispenser of cocktail arrived, it has a pourer and sits proudly at your table side.Pouring your own drinks at the table and not having to wait even a minute is a dream come true for me.This truly is the way forward.Now maybe it was the excitement,( I find it hard to calm down and act like an adult when I'm with company) but I didn't enjoy the food as much, don't get me wrong it was all still to the same standard it was just the portions seemed smaller?!
It was like we got less on the plates as a group, as the plates are sharing (I should have mentioned that before) your server will suggest how many are needed,which we followed but we didn't really have enough. Not going to hold that against them, we could have ordered more and hey I was more concerned with my drink anyway.
Still a great night.
This is a little creepy I know, but before I finish I need to inform you that the toilets in Asia de cuba are perfect.You will start to notice after time that I have bit of a luxury toilet obsession and Asia de Cuba's up there with the best of them. I might do a top ten of London toilet's, so watch this space. Wouldn't want any one missing that.
Now for me to stop rambling and wrap this up.
ASIA DE CUBA IS F**KING BRILLIANT.
Tuesday, 12 August 2014
Lies uncovered -
This is my new, much needed addition to the blog.
I'm sick of all the P.R pumping of crap venues, I'm standing up for the people! In-particular the misinformed tourist's visiting London.Put your Time Out magazine in the bin!!! Stop reading all the drivel these PR managed web pages are shoving down your throat. I vow to never to paid off to suck the ass of the people of the industry.
Of course everyone has their different opinions, but at least here you can trust an honest one.
I will begin with a post I read in Timeout last week, it had a feature on Vauxhall informing us of why we should all go there.
Ranking 29th on the poll of most polluted roads in the UK (and that poll was done before they demolished a Sainsburys superstore and began building the American embassy I'm sure). Vauxhall the forgotten shit tip has lots more to offer than pollution don't you worry, there's also plenty criminal activity to keep you amused too.
Vauxhall residents won't be shocked to see men in butt- less chaps at 8am when the clubs kick out and there is always plenty of wide eyed teenagers roaming the streets looking confused and ashamed on your Monday morning commute into work , I must admit that dig was partly jealously.. I'm going to work - they are still getting nutted.But still.Shocking.
Put this all aside folks, we always have Brunswick house in which we can hide away from all the madness and black dust of Vauxhall. Try a crappy cocktail for a mere £10.00 or just just go in for the treat of Brunswick house signature scent, it smells like an old Pig and not in a pork scratching way, more so in a abandoned abattoir way.
I must note the last time I went was last year, hopefully its all different, smells nice and the twerp that made me a cocktail with slobby egg white in has been booted out for good.
So if crap cocktails. aren't your thing you can always head on to the strip of old local- yokel Italian andTurkish restaurants under the arches.Where you are not really welcome unless you're one of them, like old country pubs where they look at you funny as you walk other the theshold.They know you're new without even turning around to look at you. They smell the freshness.
I visited one of the Italian restaurants once, I wont mention names... I had vinegar wine and some melon with Parma ham which was pleasant but the pervy customers were not. Its like being transported back to Italy in the 1950's, you know, where a dame shouldn't be dining alone..., I must say they did all look pretty gangsta in that pretend Ive watched all the Sopranos but haven't been home to Italy in 25 years sort of way. Not selling it to ya? Well you could always head to Aqua on the Thames front where I once ... wait for it.... had a pube in my cabonara!!! YES! that was the best! What a treat, I even had to chase the waiter to get him to talk to me, yes, with the pubey pasta in hand. So got some much needed exercise that day too! Bonus!
I am in all fairness being a complete negative Nigel here, so Ill lighten this up with a few good things about Vauxhall, to start the gyms good on St Georges wharf. Although be warned if you keep leaving your shit in the locker they will put it all in a bin liner to be collected, I give up after the third bag.
I know this makes me sound like a cock but there's a brilliant little fruit and veg stall inside the train station that sells seasonal fruit and veg and its cheaper than the supermarket, grab some fruit and some snacks from the shop and head to the Thames for a great view of parliament for a more peaceful area than further-down the river at Southbank. Also the Young's pub which is called Riverside (on St Georges wharf) is actually quite nice for a chain pub the staff are lovely and the grubs not bad. Good wine too, and outdoor seating. Be warned they let people reserve the outside tables so on a sunny day at 5pm you may struggle so beat them to the punch and reserve one yourself. Oh and the transport is great.(I'd still advise not listening to estate agents )That really is it though.Positives done, forgive me if I've missed something.
I appreciate I am leaving myself open for abuse from loyal residents and business owners in Vauxhall here however I have lived and worked in Vauxhall and this is my experience. I don't wish to offend anyone, Sorry Vauxhall, but Timeout's Vauxhall was just more PR Pinocchio.
Sunday, 3 August 2014
We was taking a night off the family Disney frolics to spend time together to celebrate our anniversary in the Waldorf Astoria.
When looking online at the menu for their restaurant Bull and Bear, I was put off by what looked like extremely high prices - not shy of paying good money for good grub but it just seemed like over the top margins for the food on offer, so anyway booked a table before we left England just in case as it appears to be very popular(Great reviews on trip advisor etc). As always I left my options open, was toying with the idea of heading to Blue Zoo .....
On the night Bull and Bear seemed like a good option, struggled to pull myself away from the hotel to be honest, its so luscious. Really charming hotel, our suite (only a standard double was booked) must had been upgraded , GET IN.
We was escorted to a pleasant table by the window, and got our wine ordered with the sommelier , they have one of those massive book menu's of wine that had to be tackled. Jesus christ , please just give me a tasty wine and don't suggest the one that's 90 dollars, yes , I can imagine that particular sauvingnon is extremely fantastic, but no thanks.
For starter I had the Tuna three ways, each 'way' was pretty similar, and I found it a shame that one of them wasn't a ceviche , it came with sea paste or whatever they was calling it - salt that was filtered and tasted like the sea, sounds fancy, tastes okay. The Tuna was very fresh and palatable just could have done with some more sass. I understand the dish is showing off the Tuna as the star but by 'way' three the Tuna was bored of itself.
The main was something called TOMAHAWK. A big beasty piece of beef.
Look at this
This was one special piece of meat , we had the buttery mash and spinach as sides - although scrumptious who gives a shit about those.Lets talk about the Tomahawk - It was charred to perfection , pink , soft and juicy inside without being too mushy.My partner joked about eating the leftover meat off the bone, so they happily put in on his plate for him to gnaw. I was both impressed and jealous all at the same time.
Eating off the bone in a fine dining restaurant, without any feeling of inappropriateness. Lovely stuff.
We then had some beignets, (Doughnuts) which came with three different sauces and were a welcomed sweetness to the end of the meal, although Hunstanton sea side doughnut van doughnuts can still, to this day not be beaten. Impossible.
VERY glad that at this stage my only mission was to get in a lift and fall into my super duper dreamy 5 star hotel bed, should really be entertaining a more sexy evening considering the occasion, but I'm just too full of Beef. Sorry.
To conclude : This is undoubtedly a perfectly fine restaurant, attentive friendly service - at one point the waiter tells me I remind him of Jane as in 'Tarzan and Jane' I took it as a compliment although am left baffled, my partner tells me he probably says that to all the girls, I hope not.
You are made to feel welcome here, the food is good - clearly, however no WOWS from the starters which is a shame, that said nothing tasted bad at all.The quality of ingredients is evident and the chef clearly cares.
It is an expensive one, but its an occasion restaurant , a treat. Please forgive me if I'm wrong but surely the finest of dining restaurants in Orlando??
Value for money: 6.5/10
(as always sorry for the photo quality, the restaurant was very dark and my camera is very crap, if there is a camera brand out there that would like to sponsor me - send me a decent camera to promote them, please do get in touch)
Friday, 1 August 2014
Red Lobster - Orlando Florida
Starting to get used to the whole waiting thing in America , everything is long! The queues, the drive to anywhere, the wait at restaurants........... my patience has improved some what since being here that's for sure, bigger and better apparently ..
The buzzer is firmly in my hand, gripping on tighter than needs be, as if some new comer is going to steal it from me and take my table, sweaty palms and everything, there are people here in this foyer that look like they would happily roll over me to get seated before me.
I study the menu to take the pain off my current circumstance. I want everything! It all sounds so bloody brilliant, combo deal , lobster feast , shrimp combo, combo lobster , shrimp and WHATEVER ELSE YOU WANT COMBO.WOW. Menus like this in England = utter crap-*ding meals and bad ones at that!seems different here, its appear they have it sussed and are capable of providing a large selection of dishes without needing to pierce lots of film lids, bigger and better hey .....
We are in.
We are seated and greeted my the happiest chappy I've ever encountered, I already know what I want please ask me.
We order drinks and starters, and along comes this amazing things called biscuits, no not as we no it my English folk , not digestives, hob nobs and custard creams.No, this is an American biscuit, more of a scone, but you know what you can call it Tracy for all I care. Its YUMMO. A soft savory scone, warm in the middle and so light -you know you could eat the whole damn basket, they taste like cheese and herbs, even that makes it sound too regular, I assure you these 'biscuits' NEED to be served a complimentary starters in England, fuck the farmhouse crusty loaf, why are we not doing this?!
My wine is going down a treat as my starter arrives deep fried beans, and lots of them.
I devour as many of the beans as I can. Still got some room for the main.
Oh jesus shit. This picture doesnt even do it justice. The pasta on the side could have been a main dish.
The coconut prawns err SHRIMP are one of the best things I've ever put in my mouth, if you havent got a sweet tooth i'd avoid as these are in all fairness the sweetest cocount shrimp ive ever had. For me sweet and savoury is perfect.
The pasta alfredo with Shrimp was creamy and cheesy, tasted like a cabonara, as I began to fill I couldnt help but feel a bout of guilt, if I cant finish this it means my sheer gluttony and greed has caused these poor little shrimp to be killed just to be laid dead on a bed of cheesy pasta for nothing. So I ploughed through.
The conclusion: I'm going to shrimp hell - where ill be made to lay in cheese sauce whilst the shrimp people take their revenge and prod me with their supersize forks whilst groaning 'I'm so full, probably didnt need a combo'. hahahahahahaha . AND I WOULDNT BLAME THEM. Im sorry.
On the plus side the fellow diners - Orlando regulars had managed to lick their plates clean, these people sure do know how to take on a combo meal.
My mums combo.
My nieces mac and cheese , the other one had a plate of Broccoli. Strange child.
VALUE FOR MONEY 9/10