New Head Chef and Menu @ Cubana

Cubana welcomes a new head chef and, with him, an exciting new menu.

Erkland Xhaja has been second in command of the Leopold Square restaurant under Fabian Cruz for over 13 years, and now unveils 12 new tapas dishes to add to the 50 already on the menu.

The star of the show will be fresh fish, with the new menu including traditional seafood paella and dishes inspired by the Carnary Islands – the home of Xhaja’s partner. Xhaja’s own celebrated twist on Brazilian pork stew, made with chorizo and smoked bacon, is also an exciting new addition.

Albanian-born Xhaja grew up in Italy, but moved to Sheffield as a teenager and first worked as a chef in Ecclesall Road’s Nonna’s. Now, as the head of Cubana’s kitchen, he’s leading a team containing six of the city’s most well-respected chefs. The team includes Nicolino Dente, former owner and head chef at Santino’s, Ryan Christian, former owner and head chef of the Pasta Bar, and Stuart Berry, Nonna’s original head chef and the former owner of Kitos and Swanky Frank’s.

Adrian Bagnoli, co-owner of the busy independent restaurant, made sure a dish he’d sampled on a family holiday to Mallorca – fresh squid served with chorizo glazed in orange honey – also has a place on the menu.

Bagnoli says, “there’s no one better qualified than Erkland to develop the Cubana menu. The new dishes the team have come up with are some of the best we’ve served, and fit in perfectly with the ever present Cubana favourites for a perfectly balanced tapas menu”.

For more information about Cubana, head here.

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