Recently opened Spanish delicatessen Reineta to host Cuca
There is a chance to sample Cuban cuisine in Ealing this month with the launch of a weekly supper club.
The event is to be held at Spanish delicatessen Reineta, in Dickens Yard every Thursday in August kicking off on Thursday 6 August at 7 pm.
Founder Luís Gonzalez-Castro has been bringing the food of his grandmother to diners at similar events across west London but this is the first time an event has been held in a restaurant.
Reineta owner Miguel is keen to make Cuca the first of a series of supper clubs at the recently opened independent delicatessen / café which serves up fresh Spanish plates and sells seasonal fruit and veg and Spanish produce.
Cuca is the name Luis affectionately gave to his beloved grandmother back in Miami. “There was always something bubbling away on the stove,” he says. “She didn’t stop feeding us. She taught my mom how to cook, and she in turn taught me. This culinary inheritance is so precious to me.” Luis came to London 20 years ago to begin a new life in the UK, bringing his grandmother’s recipes with him.
His grandparents fled Cuba when the revolution started 60 years ago. Only allowed to take one item of clothing with them, his grandmother also hid her recipes in those belongings. She passed them onto Luis’s mum, who in turn has and still is teaching Luis and his siblings those recipes that reminded them of their tough journey to freedom.
The menu features a tapas-style menu full of dishes synonymous with Luis’s memories of his childhood, and includes a Hemingway daiquiri on arrival and a sharing plate, mariquitas, crispy plantain crisps with drizzles of mojo throughout, a garlicky, zingy sauce. Also on the menu are tostones, plaintain disks topped with prawns, lime and mango, cooked in mayonnaise. .
Other dishes include arroz imperial, a decadent dish of chicken cooked in a creamy sauce and sofrito and layered with rice; a rich ropa vieja, literally meaning ‘old clothes’: a pulled beef in a rich, tomatoey sauce, served alongside moros y cristianos, a rice dish made with black beans. There is an ensalada de toronja, with buttery lettuce, avocado and pink grapefruit, for a palate-cleansing dish.
Luís is also serving up a trio of desserts: his tres leches cake, a light sponge cake drenched with three different types of milk; his twist on Eton Mess – the Havana mess, with gooey meringue topped with coconut rum-soaked mascarpone, tropical fruit and a drizzle of guava sauce; and finally the bocado de principe, a rum-drenched vanilla-y sponge cake with a velvety topping dusted with cinnamon. All these are dishes that take him straight back to his mother’s kitchen in Miami, when he wasn’t tall enough to even reach the countertop. Vegetarian dishes will also be available if required.
Luis says, “I’ve always missed my family and my home. But in the last few years I’ve realised how much I yearn for the criollo cooking of my family. This is hearty, robust and honest food.”
Cuca will be popping up at Reineta in Ealing on Thursdays 6, 13 and 20 in August.
The evening will run from 7.30 pm for mariquitas and a Hemingway at a cost of £45 per person or £38 without without the welcome daiquiri
Reservations are essential due to Covid-19. Email firstname.lastname@example.org stating the names of all guests as well as the mobile phone number and email address of the party booking host and the date you would like to come.
July 30, 2020