Cuba Libra, Islington 7 April 2002

From: Natasha Sears
Category: Other stuff
Date: 08 April 2002


Having taken in a performance at Sadlerís Wells we ventured towards Islington for a late Sunday evening meal. As always on Sunday evening most of the restaurants, pubs and bars were empty, so it is not surprising that our attention was drawn to CUBA LIBRA, the only restaurant filled to its capacity. But that wasnít the only reason we choose it - its blackboard advertised choice of 6 tapas for £6.95.

The tapas menu offered 15 different tapas including squid, chorizo, octopus, patatas bravas, garlic chicken, garlic mushrooms, etc. However, on seeing the main menu which offered delicious sounding Cuban food we changed our initial plan and opted for two meaty Cuban main courses, accompanied by side order of cassava with garlic. We also ordered two cocktails: my definite favourite Singapore Sling, and Hemingwayís Favourite.

As soon as the Singapore sling arrived I grew suspicious of its rich deep burgundy colour. It tasted like the worst cough medicine and I changed it swiftly for the good old sparkling water. The waiter made no objection, nor apology. My boyfriend decided to keep his cocktail which was reminiscent more of barley water squash than any of the cocktails I ever tasted. The both were priced at £4.50.

When the dishes arrived we found it hard to distinguish between the meals. They both had the biggest chunks of meat Iíve ever seen, accompanied with plantain, peppers, rice and black beans. The only difference was type of meat. Pork dish obviously had only pork meat, whereas Cuban platter also had chicken chunks, one piece of lamb and chorizo that looked and tasted like cheap pepperoni. However, the overall taste of the dish was succulent, exotic, well spiced, delicious and its amount enormous. I donít remember ever having stuffed myself with so much meat. The only downside was that meal lacked in sauce and as we were running out of vegetables and cassava, which was heavenly, the pieces were harder and harder to swallow.

The meal included two main courses, side order, one cocktail and sparkling water and it came to £34.00. The staff were highly indifferent, and the place was too bright - but at least you can have good peak at the food on surrounding tables.

The food is definitely worth tasting but stay clear of cocktails and order something saucy to help you go through the giant meaty chunks.

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