“Dishes here are vibrant and carry bold, mouth-tingling flavours”
If you were to attempt to sum up Cuba in the 1950s with one word, it would be glamour. This was a destination for the glamorous jet set. Picture: movie stars and celebrities, and imagine a destination that promised decadence, pleasure and opulence.
Situated just 160 kilometres off the coast of Florida, Cuba was the ultimate party destination – with no one noticing, or certainly not commenting at that time on the poverty of those who were serving their mojitos or the life stories of the showgirls. Then Fidel Castro announced that the revolution arrived in 1959. The years that followed made Cuba utterly unique in many ways. Isolationist policy lasted 50 years and during that time the resilient Cuban people lived on locally produced goods, infused with local culture.
The interesting melting pot of flavours was also added to by nations Cuba traded with – Arabic, Chinese, French and Portuguese.
What emerged was eclectic, tasty Cuban food with slow-cooked meat and seafood laced with the flavours of garlic, cumin, roast tomato, onion and capsicum with olive oil. Black beans (already grown on the island before colonisation), rice (a direct Chinese influence), lime (Caribbean) and plantain feature on the menu at The Cuban Broadbecah.
Although many Cuban restaurants today are government-owned, local people open their homes to visitors through contacts in paladares. In these you can taste the best food that Cuba has to offer. These are the tastes that you can also find right here on the Gold Coast.
This is, after all, the cuisine that Harley Dhessi, owner of popular Gold Coast restaurants The Cuban Bar & Lounge Dining and El Patio de Cuba, experienced with her family while travelling the Caribbean.
Now, her chefs work hard to recreate rich flavours of pre-revolutionary Cuban cuisine in a setting that is inspired by the décor of that special time.
The Cuban brings us the very best version of Cuban cuisine using fresh, locally sourced, organic produce. Choose from Cuban sandwiches for mid-week lunches, or indulge for dinner with Santiago sizzling plates of tender chicken breast and beef seared in Cuban spices; enjoy a traditional dish of Ropa Vieja, slow-cooked marinated shredded beef with rice and plantain, or even the Paella Cubana, a staple at any Cuban celebration.
Enjoy dishes with interesting names (such as Hemingway’s Salmon and Fidel’s Missile); exotic cocktails such as the Tropicana Showgirl and Myer’s Millions are elegantly larger than life in huge crystal glasses, while a smoking Old-Fashioned brings a cigar-like richness to be savoured and of course the Mojitos are always being pumped out across the bar. Cnr Surf Pde & Elizabeth Ave, The Oracle, Broadbeach.
07 5526 9769 or visit www.thecuban.com.au
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