Restaurant review: The Cuban, Camden Town, NW1

The Cuban brings food from the Caribbean to Camden

The Cuban brings food from the Caribbean to Camden - Credit: Archant

Cuban food generally seems to be under represented in the pantheon of world cuisine. It’s well known for it’s cigars, rum, communist regime, classic cars and, via Earnest Hemmingway, giving Mojitos to the world.

But if asked, off the cuff, to name a Cuban dish, a healthy percentage of people would struggle.

The Cuban, in Camden’s chaotic stables market, intends to change all that. Already known as a bustling bar, the venue has now taken over the building’s top floor and given it a more relaxed, food orientated vibe (barring the odd salsa class). After a couple of frankly excellent example’s of Hemmingway’s favourite tipple, we got cracking with a selection of tapas style dishes.

The chorizo came in a deep, rich, and very tasty red wine sauce, but the sausage itself had a disturbingly soft consistency. On the other hand, the sweet chilli prawns, again in a perky little dressing, were too tough. Thank goodness for the garlic mushrooms, which were just about perfect.

For the mains, we had the patacon con todo – a whole plantain deep fried and flattened into a crunchy pancake/flat bread, loaded with shredded chicken and toppings of guacamole, sour cream, jalapeños and spicy salsa on the side.

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The sweet taste of the plantain, the smokey kick of the meat’s marinade and hot accompaniments all worked well together for a nice light dish, although, given the lack of carbs anyone with a bigger appetite should order some chips on the side.

In contrast the Ropa Pobre con Congri – shredded beef with tomatoes, mixed peppers, onions and a healthy portion of rice – was as hearty meal as you could want.

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Packed with tongue tingling spice from the jalapeños, it was not dissimilar to an unwrapped burrito, which is a compliment in my book.

It’s not fine dining, but it’s pretty tasty Cuban pub grub, and could set you up well for a night out on Camden’s tiles.

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