July 02, 2016
Located near QVB is The Cuban Place, and just like an emerald, it is a little gem hidden in a hole in the wall waiting to be discovered. The Cuban Place is HUGE and I don't mean like Kim Kardashian Huge, I mean Beyonce huge!! They have a split level venue which caters for functions, casual dining or pleasant dates.. wink wink!

Kingfish Ceviche
Dry Sparkling Wine
Raw food isn't really our forte. So it was completely surprising that we absolutely loved the Kingfish Ceviche. The entire dish cup would have disappeared in an instant by the hands of Christie if not for it being a share plate. The Kingfish was fresh, had a great zing and the texture from the cassava crunch was the perfect partner in crime. 

Twice Cooked Pork Neck with a Black Beans Puree, Creamy Corn and Cassava Crackling
Trumpeter Torrentes 2015 from Mendoza Argentina
If you have the tinkling for a mixture of bold flavours and melt in your mouth pork then the twice cooked pork neck has your name on it! We believe that the pork was held together by the will of the chef, because as soon as the fork hit the pork, it almost melted off... simple pleasure. The cassava crackling was a little underwhelming, but the combination of the bold black bean puree and the subtle sweetness of the creamy corn made for one hell of a "sauce". We clearly made the right choice with this dish!

Green Banana and Potato Gnocchi with Sauteed Mushroom Consomme and Mancheto Cheese
Trumpeter Torrentes 2015 from Mendoza Argentina
Gnocchi! Gnocchi! GNOCCHI!!! Just like onion rings and polenta chips.. This is effectively Christie when she see's gnocchi on the menu. The self-hype might contribute to the unexpected way she experienced the dish, because to her misfortune it didn't receive well. The texture was completely different to how we imagined gnocchi to be, we are normally used to the traditional fluffy and somewhat dense texture, however this was different - it melted in your mouth reluctantly. This is a very light dish with little taste, or perhaps our tastebuds were still mesmerised by the twice cooked pork neck. 

Barramundi with Veradero Sofrito Confit, Kipfler Potatoes and Crispy Leek
Santa Rita Reserva Carmenere 2014
The unanimous decision from all bloggers on the table was that this was the best dish of the night. It was the best Barramundi we have ever tasted. It was moist, extremely fresh, and unlike the gnocchi this dish was literally popping with flavour, especially when the cherry tomatoes popped in your mouth along with the sauce. This experience combined with the leek and evenly cooked fish and a pairing of a fruity, medium bodied red wine.. we could not think of a better way to end a working week. Definitely a Friday treat! Hats off to the chef!!

Grasslands Premium Scotch Fillet with Twice Cooked Potatoes in Garlic and Rosemary 
Santa Rita Reserva Carmenere 2014
When a steak contains the word "premium" in it's name, it leads one to believe that the steak is a premium cut with a high marble score and perfectly cooked to further reduce the fat. It is a steak that you wish would never end, a steak that most men dream of when they chew their pillows at night. Again, this was a miss. It was not what we expected because the meat was extremely fatty, resulting in a half eaten steak. The one saving grace of this dish was the seasoning, along with the twice cooked potatoes (everything twice cooked is great!) and the complimentary sauce. It turned an average steak into an enjoyable steak.

Sticky Banana Pudding with Lime Juice and Whipped Coconut Cream 
Santa Rita late harvest Muscatel of Alexandria/Gewurztraminer 2014
 The dessert menu at The Cuban Place was quite tempting and when placing the order for this dish, we were very close to swapping to another as neither of us usually enjoy pudding.. needless to say our expectations were quite low. But guess what? This shattered those expectations and ended up being one of our "must order again" dishes! The entirety of this dish was quite enjoyable, it started with the perfect sweetness, had a great texture and we love the fact that it's served warm. We thought the whipped coconut cream was actually ice cream at first but the flavours were there and it made for a great pairing with the sticky banana pudding.

Coffee and Chocolate Mocha Dome with Candied Peanuts, Sweet Peanut Roll, and Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Santa Rita late harvest Muscatel of Alexandria/Gewurztraminer 2014
Presentation and dessert comes hand in hand and if a dessert doesn't look good, you immediately start relating that to the taste of the dish. That is the sad truth we live in today.. we all eat with our eyes. This dessert literally has a bit of everything, and in a portion that isn't overwhelming. While the dome was rich in flavour, the sweetness from the candied peanuts helped alleviate the richness. Likewise with the sweet peanut roll, it has a very bold flavour but when you have a bit of each element on your spoon - you have yourself unity in flavour. This is what makes you want more, this is exactly why this dessert works so well. What a great way to end a great night!

Thank you to the lovely ladies, Allie and Trish from Zomato for hosting another great #zomatomeetup

The Cuban Place Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato