Closed on Sun, Mon to Fri: 11.00am - 12.00am, Sat: 4.00pm - 12.00am
Located in Customs House on Collyer Quay, Nueva Cuba is a restaurant offers Cuban cuisine which is a fusion of Spanish, African, Caribbean, French and even Chinese. It takes full advantage of the Marina Bay waterfront to give customers an unforgettable dining experience.
Whilst I was originally a little daunted coming (I came for the view!) because of the reviews online that were less-than-favourable, I was very, very pleasantly surprised by the level of quality and service they provided at Nueva Cuba, especially Hairul, who was a pleasure to be served by. Their managers were also very attentive and friendly, and it was all-in-all a wonderful experience. The food was not as bad as they made it sound online - we finished both plates! My friend ordered the Lamb Shank and I the Chicken Fajita. We shared the Asparagus with parma ham, which was delicious, and a plate of nachos that disappeared really quickly! The drinks were to die for - one thing you must try is their mojito, which I think sold the most yesterday! Good job, guys!
I was attracted by the permanent crowd outside, but when I went in found out that the crowd is due to cheap beers! Awful food and terrible mojitos, full of non-sense cliches and the worst latino music you could ever imagine. If you want something more than beers, go somewhere else
Read the full review at http://thehungrybunnie.blogspot.com/2011/07/nueva-cuba-bar-restaurant.html
The problem with any restaurant at Customs House is the serious lack of parking. The nearest parking is via valet at Fullerton Bay Hotel, which costs $12. For the convenience, I usually just valet it.
They need to get better ventilation for this place, everytime a sizzling hotplate dish comes out of the kitchen, the entire restaurant is consumed with tear-inducing wafts of smoke and food accents.
1) Almendras Bote ($10) was a non-oily but very crispy fresh dory fillet, breaded and deep fried, then topped with almond flakes for texture and a nutty accent
2) Calabacines Y Jamon con Pinones ($14) of grilled zucchini with parma ham and pine nuts was a winning combination of textures and flavours. I loved every bit of this
3) Vieras con Jamon ($16) of scallops, peppers and parma ham sauteed in white wine and accented with saffron for a bright cheery hue. I thought the scallops could have been a little plumper though
4) Ajo Gambas ($16), medium-sized prawns sauteed with olive oil, garlic, chili and white wine. Prawns were fresh, firm without the artificially alkaline-induced crunchiness, and naturally sweet and mild
5) Chorizo Y Queso Relleno de Setas ($14), yummy wild button mushrooms stuffed with spicy chorizo and mozzarella cheese and baked
I have always thought of Nueva Cuba as a drinking hole, but a recent look at their menu showed that they had quite an extensive food offerings, a lot more than a place whereby the food supports the drinks.
The setting, and dressing of the staff do give a Cuban vibe and takes one out of the hustle and bustle of the financial district. Dropping by on a crowded Tuesday for dinner, I had to be seated twice, due to condensation from the air conditioners above.
Once that was settled, I started with the Calamary (sic)($12), which was an deep fried and spiced up version of the usual Italian delight.
I also tried the Creamy Chicken Soup ($8), which as its name suggest was a thick filling soup which had croutons which tasted great when soaked with the soup.
I also tried the Creamy Mushroom ($12). This dish came by mistake as I did not order it but decided to retain the dish as it looked like something that I would enjoy. Thick in cream and taste.
I decided to also have the Ajo Gambas ($16) from their tapitas menu. I liked the use of large tiger prawns - five of them which were well marinated in fried garlic but wished that the prawns were peeled.
Finally for my main course I had the Fajitas Combination of beef and chicken ($32). I found this dish to be a bit odd as there was a strong goat cheese smell. The meat was also overdone and I wish there were more condiments such as guacamole to go with the course.
It ain't Cuban if there ain't no beer, and so I had my bottle of Corona ($14) to wash it all down.
While the food was generally quite good, two areas that could be beefed up are in the areas of the ventilation as well as the service. At one point, too much evaporated oil was leaking out of the chicken, which caused my eyes to water and choke. In the area of service, there were three incidents of mixed up orders - all in one meal. My soup did not arrive till the end of the meal due to a misplacement of orders and two wrong dishes arrived instead. I did however accept the manager's apology and will give them the benefit of the doubt as it was indeed a busy night. In the long run though, I hope that both the kinks will be improved on.