If you’re looking for an exciting Cuban restaurant with delicious authentic food, look no further. El Patio de Cuba in Surfers Paradise is the ‘Havana’ evening you’ve been dreaming of. The beautiful timber bar alone will have you swooning for one of their rum cocktails, and lets not forget the food… oh the food!
Drinks to start…
“IMAGINE FOR A MOMENT IT’S 1953 IN CUBA, THE MOJITO’S ARE FLOWING, FINE FOOD IS IN ABUNDANCE AND THE SHOW GIRLS ARE DANCING.” – El Patio
My dinner began with a round of cocktails: a Havana Mama for my friend (Absolut vanilla vodka, fresh ginger, pineapple juice and a squeeze of fresh lemon), and for me the ‘original drink of Cuba’ the Classic Mojito (Havana Club 3 Rum, fresh pressed lime, aromatic mint and sugar topped with a dash of soda water). This is not a usual choice for me, as I am quite often wary of the word rum for fear of having it taste too strong, and yet I also do not enjoy very sweet drinks. Well, challenge accepted. The verdict: pure perfection. Our beautifully presented cocktails were the perfect blend of flavours, with authentic ingredients and the most excellent awareness of balance.
Should you be looking for a spot to stop-in for drinks with friends I absolutely recommend sitting at their gorgeously crafted timber bar, which has a view of their carefully curated selection of over 100 bottles of rum from around the world. They have a mile-long list of drink options including: Sangria, Punch, Margaritas, Old Fashioned, Pina Coladas and much more!
Then came the food…
And what incredible food it was! El Patio has recently upgraded their kitchen to include a brand new $50,000 traditional Spanish wood-fire oven (yes, you read that right. They call it the Josper). In light of this, we ordered all of our Tapas selections off of their new Josper Menu.
The mushrooms with goats cheese and leek gratin stole the show. That is, until the chorizo arrived… The Charred Cha Cha Chorizo is tossed in rosemary, thyme, garlic and honey and served with warm bread. I can only say, we fought over the last mushroom and ate every last bite of that chorizo, happily and would gladly do it again!
The final selection – the Chargrilled Free Range Chicken Breast Strips – we ordered with a side of their Rice Tossed with Sweetcorn and Black Beans. Everything that arrived was cooked perfectly, tender chicken and fluffy rice, both with such flavour that I find my mouth watering just thinking about it. Well and truly full at this point (you will not be disappointed by the portion sizes), we struggled to finish off the dish, and in the end I’m proud to say we conquered.
Yes, there was more…
Deciding to sit for a while longer to enjoy the ambiance and Spanish music we ordered another round of drinks. The original plan was to choose our go-to drinks (white wine, of course), but we were persuaded to try the Red Sangria (red wine infused with peach brandy, Bacardi Limon, Bacardi Oakheart Spiced Rum and seasonal fruits topped off with lemonade) and the Espresso Martini (Patron XO café tequila, vanilla vodka and a shot of Cuban coffee). Yum! Double yum! I can honestly say, it was one of the best espresso martinis I’ve had.
Plus, when they mentioned their homemade, hot Spanish Churros, we just couldn’t help ourselves. They are served with dark chocolate dipping sauce and Bailey’s infused cream, and they are 100% as delicious as they sound.
I have a great fondness for dining out, enjoy all types of food, and should you have asked me prior to my visit to El Patio I would have said I enjoyed Cuban cuisine. After my evening of the most delicious of tapas, cocktails, dessert, Spanish sounds and excellent service I can without a doubt say I love Cuban Cuisine.
I have already recommended El Patio to friends and family, and will myself without a doubt be returning soon (I’m eyeing up their Cuban Style Sirloin Steak).
Here’s my advice: check them out on one of the nights when they have live music, as I have been assured the guitarist is exceptional. Make sure to try at least one of their rum cocktails, and should you not be a rum fan speak up as their bartender can recommend something to suit your tastes exactly. Bring friends, as their tapas are not only delicious, but fun and enjoyable to share. And once you have done those three things, repeat.