Enjoy our faster App experience

Restaurant Review: Rumba, the Cuban joie de vivre

Rumba — Cuban Bar & Kitchen at Palm Jumeirah is a standalone 200-cover restaurant that tries to recreate the Cuban capital Havana of the 1950s, where dining was at the centre of a vibrant nightlife



by

Joydeep Sengupta

Published: Thu 27 Jan 2022, 11:39 PM

Cuban food is a happy blend of Spanish, African and Taino — the indigenous people of the Caribbean — cuisines. For the uninitiated, rumba embodies a harmony of percussive rhythms, colourful song and dance that traces its origin to colonial Cuba. The word rumba derives from the Cuban Spanish word rumbo that means party or spree. In Cuban culture, rumba is simply a way of life.

Rumba — Cuban Bar & Kitchen at Palm Jumeirah is a standalone 200-cover restaurant that tries to recreate the Cuban capital Havana of the 1950s, where dining was at the centre of a vibrant nightlife.

Alberto Cuello, a native of Cuba, is the brain behind Rumba, which opened its doors last year, despite the Covid-19 challenges. It was a momentous occasion as Cuello’s cherished dream of bringing a slice of swinging Havana was realised.

On Saturdays, the live band Cubache plays at the Cigar Lounge, much to the delight of the diners who let their hair down while enjoying a sumptuous meal.

For starters, diners can opt for salads such as empanadas de ropa vieja — an assortment of homemade pastry, shredded beef and aioli (mayonnaise seasoned with garlic), or camarones rellenos — prawns, veals, cream cheese, panko (breadcrumbs that are used as a coating for fried or baked food), coriander, chipotle mayo.

Picado cubana is a classic Cuban salad comprising tostones (fried plantains), yuca frita (fried cassava), potato croquettes, black beans empanada (Spanish or Latin American pastry), and sweet potato flautas (filled with meat and cheese).

Cubans is a classic hot starter and an assortment of roasted veal, turkey ham, mojo criollo (sour orange and garlic dressing), mustard, Swiss cheese, butter and pickles that can be washed down with the Cuban heritage cocktails.

For the main course, take your pick from masas fritas — crispy veal brisket, mojo criollo, maduros (fried sweet plantains), black beans stew, white rice and avocado — or a beef steak (Wagyu rib eye/Bife de chorizo or striploin/Lomito or tenderloin) or a corn-fed chicken.

joydeep@khaleejtimes.com


More news from Restaurant Reviews