The Handbook
The Handbook

Bang in the middle of Camden market, amongst the rockabilly boutiques and cybergoth shops is The Cuban; a South American bar and restaurant. Downstairs the atmosphere is buzzing with people clinking down tequila shots and strutting their stuff on the make-shift dance floor by the mini stage.

A quick elevator ride transports you upstairs to the much quieter official dining area, although food can be eaten throughout the venue if you are looking to talk with your friend/parent/Tinder date then avoid downstairs. The live music is great fun and all around us people were getting drawn in and twirling each other round, Samba style but it is loud, very loud. The cocktails are mostly rum-based but range from Mojitos in a variety of flavours, the best being the Vanilla Mojito, gold rum infused with vanilla pods, to Very Cuban Berry; Bacardi 8yrs rum, muddled raspberries, blueberries & blackberries sprinkled with cinnamon dust, fresh lime juice & balanced with mango syrup.

The food is tapas focussed with dishes like Fried Green Plantain & Sweet Potato which came out served as crisps, and Quesadillas.

The winning main was the El Presidente Whole Baby Chicken which is marinated in white rum, sweet & dry vermouth, triple sec and maraschino liqueur, and a few special spices. Unfortunately the Patacon con Todo, whole plantain, deep fried then flattened to a pancake, topped with guacamole, sour cream & tomato salsa was a disappointment and tasted like a piece of cardboard. The ‘Cajun Fries’ we ordered came out sans the Cajun so were just plain white unseasoned chips.

The rustic looking décor and live music makes for a great hang out place to drinks cocktails and to whip out your Salsa moves on the unsuspecting crowd but it isn’t really the place to go for a quality dinner.