I drive past Viva Cuba in Leeds every day on my way to work. I’ve never really looked twice at it because to be honest, it doesn’t look nice from the outside. Also, I’m usually in my own little world. Or too hungover. Or both – but let’s not get into that right now.
We decided to go on a whim, as I knew I wanted to go bowling on my birthday which is just across the road from Viva Cuba. There are loads of places to eat in that area and as soon as one of my housemates mentioned tapas, I really loved the idea – and you know me, once there’s an idea in my head, my heart is set on it.
I get easily bored with food and love to share starters and have platters, so tapas is perfect for being able to try different things.
We got the set menu for 4, which came to £15.95 per head.
The portion sizes are so generous! It says for 4, but there was so much left over when we were done! I was torn between waiting a little longer to see if I could squeeze more in, to getting it put in a tub to take away. My previous experience of places like this has lead me to believe that you’ll get a tiny dish barely enough for two, but each dish happily fed all four of us and there was wasn’t one dish that made me feel ripped off!
The set meal included two starters, then fourteen tapas:
Green Manzanilla & purple Kalamata Olives V and Tortilla chips and dips V.
Cod cakes with lime salsa, Squid rings with alioli, Cuban meatballs, Piri Piri Chicken breast, Garlic mushroom V, Cream cheese Jalapos V, Aubergine tower V, Chorizo in red wine, Cuban bean stew V, Spanish omelette V, Seafood paella, Sweet and spicy Lamb stew, Patatas bravasV, Tomato bread V.
You can order dishes separately if you wish, but this seemed like the easiest option for us. You can view the menu here.
My Favourite dishes were:
Chorizo in red wine.
I’ve never eaten chortizo like this! It was chunks in a taste sauce and it was cooked to perfectly. It melted in your mouth and I could have happily eaten the full dish to myself!
This was tower of aubergine layered with garlic, egg, salsa and melted cheese. Don’t really need to say more, do I!
Cream cheese jalpos.
These green jalapeno peppers were filled with cream cheese and the cheese was just to die for. I could eat melted cheese every meal and never get bored of it!
The bread was so soft and warm. perfect for dipping in the juices of the dishes!
The only let down: I didn’t like the squid rings with alioli at all. I usually really enjoy squid but they felt quite hard and not as chewy as it usually is. We left most of it as everyone agreed it wasn’t that nice.
The service was okay, the starters came out straight away and gave us a chance to have a nibble before the rest of the dishes came out. We weren’t waiting long at all. The staff kept coming over and wanting to clear the dishes right away which I found a bit annoying because I’m the type of person that would rather be left alone. Like, when shop assistants ask me if I need any help, or hair dresses try to make small talk with me. Which is the main reason I have long hair. But that’s a different story….
You can find Viva Cuba at 342 Kirkstall Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2DS