Situated within the St Martins Lane Hotel, this restaurant combines elements of Asian and Cuban cuisine (as the name might suggest). The first thing I must tell you about this venue is that the staff are so wonderfully friendly. We were greeted with a smile by several members of staff, from the restaurant manager to the waiters, and I was complimented on my dress by the hostess before we were shown to our table. A lovely start to to what was a very good meal. The restaurant itself was buzzing with energy, and was already quite busy despite it being only 6pm, which was great; I hate it when you’re the only people in a restaurant and all the staff can hear your conversations. There is a sophisticated feel to this place, but it’s relaxed enough too to not be pretentious.
We opted for the £22 two course pre-theatre menu as our friends were going to see The Lion King afterwards, and as I didn’t think I could resist the dessert of Mexican Doughnuts, we forwent the starters and went straight in with the main course. I enjoyed the Pan Seared Ahi Tuna which came served rare with wasabi mashed potatoes and crunchy peas with coriander chimichurri sauce. I absolutely loved this – the tuna was seasoned brilliantly and bursting with flavour, and the wasabi mash wasn’t too strong, but you could definitely get a hint of the spice. I feared the portion was a little on the small side at first, but I soon filled up nicely, with just enough room left for my pudding.
The Mexican Doughnuts made with sweet brioche were rolled in cinnamon sugar and filled with butterscotch sauce. They were light and delicious, with a great crispy bite which lead to a warm, soft middle. The light dusting of icing sugar along with the butterscotch sauce gave it an enjoyable and not too sickly sweetness, and it wasn’t long before I had scraped my plate clean, however, before that I did begin to feel some food envy, as my friend enjoyed the Cuban Coffee Brownie that came with a chocolate fudge sauce, kahlua glaze and fudge brownie ice cream.
I really enjoyed my meal, however did feel the price could be brought down ever so slightly… £22 for two courses is quite a lot, especially when one of those is a plate of doughnuts. A price a few pounds below the twenty quid mark would seem a lot more reasonable for me, but that doesn’t mean to say that I didn’t think the meal was good quality. My glass of Sauvignon Blanc however was definitely overpriced at £8 per glass. A bottle is more advisable.
I would happily return to this great hotel restaurant. Maybe to try the Cuban Coffee Brownie next time. And for another ego boost from the waitresses, who bookended our meal with another lovely comment.