Tipping their black beret to this Caribbean island more than I imagined, the cosy red-hued backroom had me imagining I’d just come down from the mountains with Che Guevara after liberating my people from the Yankee imperialists. Admittedly I’d just thrown back a ripper Passionfruit Mojito ($14.90), made inroads into what may be this city’s biggest (whole bottle) jug of Sangria ($28), and foolishly inhaled a hand-rolled Cohiba Cuban Cigar ($4.90), so it was probably just head spins. Regardless, check your prejudices about run-of-the-mill chain restaurants and dive into this pivotal piece of Central Oxford Street real estate. Beyond people watching, it offers up quite passable tapas, from a duo of Mini Burger Sliders ($9.90) with grilled cheese and onion jam, to a sizzling platter of Spiced Chicken with Jalapenos and Guacamole ($10.90), wrapped in warm tortillas. As night falls over the orange-tinged law courts, planning your next revolution may carry you from the clever combination of Grilled Haloumi, Charred Peppers, Capers and Herbs ($10.90) into sweeter times. Chocolate’s a highlight. It’s made not from powders or syrups, but glorious melted buttons that had me scraping my plate of Choc Cinnamon Churros ($13.90), despite them being a tad crunchier than expected. It’s time to rise up.
191 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst
Ph: (0450) 956 395 www.cococubano.com
Bar Food/Tapas/Cocktails/Dessert $-$$