Food Review: Cubana
For 17 years Cubana has been an absolute behemoth of both the bar and restaurant scene in Sheffield, but the venue shows know sign of slowing down with age. Since moving to Leopold Square a few years ago the place has gone from strength to strength, now offering a huge downstairs bar with fantastic cocktails, weekly salsa classes and regular live music alongside a stylish upstairs restaurant serving authentic tapas fare. Dramatically decorated with murals of old Havana, Cubana offers a genuine slice of Latino heat in the heart of the Steel City.
The menu offers such wealth of choice it could be hard to narrow down what to order and – even more so – just how much to order. Luckily, the handy key on the menu explains well: one or two dishes are suitable for a snack, leading all the way up to five if you’re famished. As it was only lunchtime, we opted for six dishes between us. The classic patatas bravas are very tasty with a spicy kick alongside the sweet, succulent prawns of the gambas pil pil. Cubana’s flagship paella de marciscos is a huge triumph; the traditional rice dish comprises of a bounty of fresh seafood with a lovely fragrant hit from fresh garlic and basil. My personal favourite was the atun con habas y tomate, with soft, fresh tuna alongside al dente broad beans and expertly dressed with a silky cherry tomato vinaigrette. However, no Latino meal is complete without chorizo, and with the added glory of a fried egg, the chorizo y huevo con patatas gave an excellent nod to a classic cowboy breakfast dish. Our palates were finally cleansed by a beautiful salad of asparagus, spinach, tomato and manchego cheese, before we refreshed ourselves with a couple of outstanding Cuba Libre cocktails.
It’s near impossible not to have a good time at this place. The atmosphere is lively, the cocktails are excellent and after 17 years of service the tapas is still up there with the best the city has to offer. In short: viva la Cubana!
For more info head to cubanatapasbar.co.uk