Famous eatery reopens under creative direction of Cuban concept chef Luis PousLegendary fusion restaurant Asia de Cuba will reopen its doors in late April, 2015 offering a hotly anticipated new menu - sophisticated, whimsical and above all, fun - in a revamped space at its longstanding home in London’s iconic St Martins Lane.
Led by Cuban-born executive concept chef Luis Pous, Asia de Cuba is named after its fusion philosophy and offers an exciting amalgamation of Asian and Latin cuisine. The restaurant’s inspiration stems from the historical link between the two destinations; Havana once harbored its own China Town, developed when an influx of Chinese immigrants sailed to Cuban shores to farm the land. Using this historical hook, Chef Pous interprets what Asian-influenced Cuban fare might have been, had Cuba’s communities been able to access ingredients necessary to develop their cuisine.
Chef Pous grew up in Cuba and trained at the National School of Culinary Arts in Havana, where he cooked for diplomats and foreign dignitaries. He later settled in the USA and worked at a number of hotel restaurants, including Noble House’s Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, where he secured a #1 ranking for in-house restaurant, The Dining Room. His unique perspective and modern full-flavoured approach pays homage to Jeffrey Chodorow's original vision for Asia de Cuba and breathes new life into the restaurant’s much-loved menu.
Located in London’s theatre district at the centre of Covent Garden, the restaurant has an outstanding reputation for unexpected and delicious dishes. While its fundamental ethos - authentic and honest food - will remain the same, the new space has emerged as a sanctuary of contemporary cool, accommodating diners in chic, spirited surroundings befitting the overall redesign of St Martins Lane.
Chef Pous puts a twist on old favourites and adds a series of experimental combinations, dividing the menu into five main sectors: ceviches, small plates, salads, wok and plancha. Fresh ingredients combine to create inspired standout dishes; a modern version of the traditional Ropa Vieja Empanada is drenched in recoto sweet & sour sauce, while seared tuna is accompanied by a unique take on the traditional Cuban black bean side of frijoles negros; white bean puree served with chorizo salsa, tatsoi and garlic sesame vinaigrette.
Signature dishes from the innovative menu will include:
Tuna & Seared Foie Gras Ceviche
Orange, Asian pear, malanga chips
Dumplings de Enchilados de Cangrejo
Seafood ponzu, shiso
Sweet & Sour Tofu
Tostones, green papaya salad
‘Chino Latino’ Stir Fried Rice
Lechon, bean sprouts, egg, edamame
Seven Spice Roast Chicken
Snow pea, shiitake, black bean congri, manchego
Hand-crafted cocktails are built on classic formulas and muddle fresh ingredients with Latin flair, mirroring the approachable and tropical nature of the food. The Patong Palmer is a riff on an Arnold Palmer, made of Thai iced tea with lemon, aperol and coconut milk. Floradora on Holiday combines gin, hibiscus, lime and fresh ginger soda. And of course, there are Cuba Libres and Mojitos made with freshly extracted sugarcane juice, and the beloved Asia de Cuba Mambo King.
To finish on a note as subtle as it is sweet, desserts flit between Cuba and Asia with the likes of coconut & lemongrass flan with melon water and Thai basil, “tres leches” de chocolate with Szechuan peppercorn ice cream and sorbet meringue with lemongrass, yuzu and coconut water.
Asia de Cuba appeals to guests seeking an intimate dinner as much as it does to those slipping in for an afternoon snack, providing an experience that lingers long after the flavours have left the palate.