Jun 20, 2018

Cuba Libre Cafe & Bar @ TREC KL - If Latin Dancing Is Your Thing.

Checking out the latest venue to hit the heart of TREC KL, where I also discovered my joy for Fried Chickpeas!


Reminiscent of a typical Havana Bar, Cuba Libre Cafe & Bar started in 2006, at Clarke Quay Singapore.

Fast forward just last week, I attended the soft launch of Cuba Libre Cafe & Bar's opening, in Kuala Lumpur, the latest in the host of restaurants and bars that have opened up in TREC, showcasing Latin American food, matching cocktails, and Latin music.


"My team and I are truly delighted by the opening of Cuba Libre at TREC, Kuala Lumpur. Cuba Libre simply means a concoction of Rum and Cola and we introduced the South American flavours in Singapore in 2006. The Latin flavour oozes vibrancy, togetherness and a beautiful festival. We hope to bring people from all walks of life to Cuba Libre to experience a fun night, filled with music, dance and food, not forgetting our Award-winning cocktail from Singapore, the 'Mojito'."

Shoutout from Puneet Agarwal, Director of Cuba Libre.


salsa place in kl

Throughout the evening, the crowd was entertained by performers that hailed all the way from Cuba, Columbia and Venezuela - bringing together the best of commercial Latin Salsa, Pop, Jazz, Bachata, Merengue and Reggaeton. To be very honest, the music was not the kind that I was typically accustomed too, but it was definitely a boisterous sight to listen and see.

salsa venue in kl

To start: Cuba Libre's Signature Mojito (RM65.00) - I'm always excited to drink. While I slowly sipped on my massive jar of Mojito - which was not too strong and lasted me through the night, the generous host brought over a tray of Tequila Shots (RM26-RM32/shot) to booze. There were also a range of whiskies and other alcohol options available. Just ask!

Cuba Libre Signature Mojito.
Tequila Shots.

Cuba Libre decks-up some pretty good array of Latin American food in their menu, including appetizers, salads, wraps, tapitas, fijatas, and main courses - some of which I had a taste of that evening.

I would not normally have much expectations of the food served at a bar, but the food here, completed by Chef Evelio Martinez, from Cuba, was unexpectedly good. Trays of canapes and finger food were served, which was pretty interesting yet not unfamiliar, and that I also thought were very similar to Spanish food.

The Garbanzos Fritos - Fried Chickpeas (RM38.00) wasn't aesthetically pleasing, but boy it was delicious. The portion came substantial, savory yet addictive, consisting of chickpeas, chorizo, smoked pork belly, pork sausages, seasoned with paprika and cumin. I'd highly recommend.
I didn't have much of the Tortilla & Salsa (RM18.00) - the sauces felt quite the same after a couple of dishes. The Patacones Con Ratatouille (RM15.00/6 pieces) was a traditional dish in Latin America, made out of fried plantain, topped with shredded beef on one, and chopped vegetables on the other. These were moreish - to my very delight, also one of my favorites of the evening.
The Frito de Mar - Deep Fried Squid (RM32.00) looked and tasted rather under-cooked however. My friend enjoyed it nevertheless. The Papas Rellenas - Seasoned Mashed Potato Balls (RM18.00) came with a choice of either cheese or beef fillings.
Gambas al Ajillo - Garlic Prawns (RM35.00) was a traditional Spanish dish consisting of prawns, garlic and olive oil. Pimientos Rellenos - Stuffed Capsicum (RM22.00) was a simple dish made out of baked capsicum stuffed with beef.
Lastly, I chowed down on spoonfuls of Paella a la Chorrera (RM48.00), a Cuban-styled paella cooked with saffron rice, chorizo, smoked pork belly, pork meat and tiger prawns. Again, the dish was running on the verge of being a tad too salty, but after all the drinking, this was quite good.

The music and performances were still running by the time I was done with dinner. The tables around me joined the crowd at the dance floor, salsa-ing to the tunes of Cuban music. I, on the other hand, decided that nibbling on the food placed in front of me was more of my thing.

If you're looking for a Salsa or Latin dancing venue, I'd recommend swinging by. Thank you Cuba Libre Cafe & Bar, Puneet and Dave, for having me.

Cuba Libre Cafe & Bar is located at:
Address: Unit H-G-10 & H-A-10, TREC KL
Opening Hours: 7pm till late.
Email: hr.cubalibrekl@gmail.com
Website: http://cubalibre.asia/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cubalibrekl/

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