It may surprise you to read that Asia de Cuba does afternoon tea – and in case you’re picturing another sandwich/scone afternoon, look again. Asia de Cuba offers a savoury/sweet combo menu that ticks all the boxes.
The restaurant is located in a hotel lobby, but without a sign. I’m not sure how I feel about lobby restaurants, especially ones where you can’t tell if you’re in the right place but I’ll let that go for now. I’ve heard much about the interior, decorated by French designer Philippe Starck, the detail is achingly hip – book-lined pillars, transistor radios on display and brightly coloured prints adorn the walls but personally, I feel the effect is not as spectacular as it could be.
The table is fantastic, bright crockery, a cigar box that doubles up as our teapot holder and a menu that also doubles as the front page of the AdC news.
Separate teas are offered for the savoury and sweet offerings and for the first round, we’re recommended the Iron Buddha Green tea. Not being a fan of Green tea myself, I let Husband follow the recommendation and instead, I opt for the Bohea Lapsang black tea.
Our savoury selection starts with a beautifully clever layered mango, kiwi and strawberry smoothie. Delicious.
To munch on we have BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, smoked salmon tarts, empanadas, summer rolls, spring rolls and savoury scones. We had 2 plain scones which were a real disappointment being only partially cooked and doughy inside (So speaks my best post-Great British Bake off critique) while the other 2 scones, mixed with what appear to be chives are all that scones should be and more. Especially when smothered in the mojito butter.
The summer & spring rolls are another treat, with the empanadas and sandwiches rating as ok.
It is my birthday (and so marks a year of inher30s) and the staff bring out a candle and a song along with our dessert platter.
I’ve been looking forward to the much famed doughnuts with butterscotch sauce, but they’ve been a tad stingy with the sauce filling and it is really the banana spring rolls that are taking my breath away.
I’m not a fan of the sharp citrus flavour so Husband happily eats both Key Lime pies and the Chocolate/Chilli pot is rich and gooey with a great pistachio crumbly topping adding some crunchy texture.
The service is warm and friendly, a number of staff wish me happy birthday and the waitress notices my love of the banana spring rolls and brings over a few sneaky rolls as an extra treat.
Afternoon tea is priced at £25pp, which I think is reasonable given the volume and quality of food and service you’re privy to.