When it comes to a spectacular setting for dinner, Liverpool’s Alma de Cuba is not to be missed says Camille Allcroft
situated in what was once St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, the space retains many of its original features and lofty vaulted ceilings, ornate stained-glass windows and a vast altar area set the scene for a meal in dramatic surroundings. We went along recently to sample the new menu and after a warm welcome, we ascended the stone staircase to a dining area adorned with twinkling chandeliers and polished dark wood. The menu revolves around an intriguing blend of Cuban, Hispanic and Latin American influences – think Cuban style bobo mullet and squash cassoulet with salsa verde.
The fish taco was a promising start to dinner – a lightly grilled soft flour tortilla brimming with fish in golden paprika batter, tropical Caribbean slaw and herb crème fraîche made an inviting combination and a smattering of thinly sliced chillies added a fiery kick. A second starter of burnt tomato and goats’ cheese bruschetta was equally impressive – simple Mediterranean flavours of tangy plum tomatoes and whipped goats cheese on grilled corn bread were given a boozy finishing touch by sherry salsa. On to mains and berenjena pappardelle proved to be a tempting vegetarian option; the rich smoked aubergine and tomato ragu was a treat with the generous portion of pappardelle, while a fritter filled with melting manchego rounded off the dish. Succulent sirloin steak with piquant green chimi salsa conjured up flavours of Brazil and the accompanying battered onion chips were crispy and sweet. We sipped chilled Prosecco with our meal, but Alma de Cuba is also renowned for impressive cocktails, with a wide choice available including classics and more unusual creations like the fig and amaretto sour.
Time for dessert and we opted for the sharing board laden with dainty portions of pineapple and mango cheesecake, chilli chocolate brownie, spiced orange polenta cake and Kalua mocha macaroon. This was the perfect array of sweet delights after such robust savoury courses and the chilli chocolate brownie was pleasantly bitter with a subtle chill heat underlying, while the spiced orange polenta cake was zesty and light.
For a truly atmospheric destination, Alma de Cuba is well worth a visit for dinner or drinks and the globally inspired menus and excellent service are further reasons to stop by.
St Peters’ Church, Seel Street, Liverpool L1 4BH
0151 305 3744, alma-de-cuba.com