Asia De Cuba

A world-famous chain, that’s somewhat disappointing here in Dubai
  • 2

Time Out Says

When we heard that China Grill was closing, we mourned the loss of its excellent dim sum. However, our misery was abated by the news that Asia De Cuba was set to fill its space. Famed in New York and London, as well as being Time Out Abu Dhabi’s Bar of the Year 2017, we had high hopes for this “Chino-Latino”.

On arrival, the space is similar to China Grill – with a bar upstairs and a dark, moody dining area on the lower level.

Murals of waterfalls adorn the walls now though, and there’s plenty of jungle-esque greenery. Conversely, the tables are decked out with white cloths, which makes the vibe confusing.

The menu is diverse and interesting. And, happily, prices won’t blow you away.

We opt for the salmon ceviche to start. It’s okay, but more like sashimi swimming in a super-sweet passionfruit sauce. The ropa vieja spring rolls fare better, stuffed with rich, tasty beef. The crab maki are the highlight though, fresh, light and full of flavour.

We move on to a portion lobster udon and chilli-rubbed scallops – both of which pique our interest with a mishmash of interesting ingredients. However, in both dishes the delicate shellfish is overpowered by the accompanying carbohydrate.In the case of the lobster, a wallpaper-gluey udon made with coconut milk and bird’s eye chilli. The scallops come with black beans, black rice, cauliflower and “Japanese” aioli. It’s confusing in both flavour and texture. It’s a shame, as the fish is perfectly cooked and delicious in each dish.

It’s disappointing, but with popularity across the world, we won’t write it off quite yet, but for now it needs to up its game to compete with the major players on the dining scene.

The bill (for two)
1x salmon ceviche Dhs45
1x crab rolls Dhs39
1x ropa vieja spring rolls Dhs40
1x chilli-rubbed king scallops Dhs128
1x lobster udon noodles Dhs140
1x large water Dhs29
Total (incl service, plus VAT) Dhs395.33

The bottom line
Interesting dishes, but doesn’t quite work.

By Time Out Dubai staff  | 16 May 2018

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Payment OptionsCash, Credit Card
Dress CodeCasuals
Show number 04 511 7333
Dubai, Dubai Marina, Dubai Marina - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

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