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27 September 2017


last weekend - the only weekend i had free before my trip to japan, i took the opportunity to celebrate my birthday a little early, seeing as i'll be spending 17 of my actual birthday hours on a plane over the pacific ocean (my birthday is today, for anyone who cares). i kicked off the celebrations with a desperate and well-earned lay in, followed by a few hundred coffees in bed as i re-watched season seven of drag race for the trillionth time, then i lazily made my way into central london to meet bex for brunch at the st. martin's lane hotel restaurant that i'd been hearing so much about: asia de cuba.

we all know i'm a bottomless brunch kinda gal, and the restaurant's asian cuban fusion menu certainly piqued my interest, but the thing that had me decided that this was the place for me before i even got half-way down the brunch menu? two words: shrimp churros. they come as part of the starters in all of the brunch options (from the premium menu onward), and they were absolutely to die for. crunchy and full of flavour, and perfect for dipping in the creamy chipotle-esque side sauce. they came out on a platter of nibbles that included black bean hummus, guava and cream cheese pastelitos (a delicious pastry parcel of deliciousness), chicken chicharrones (delicious layered bites), and ropa vieja spring rolls (delicious rolls of stewed tastiness). it took us no time at all to get through the starters, and while supping on delicate glasses of laurent perrier too, mind you, but it was the main i was looking forward to the most.

now, you'll have to forgive the pictures as i know they're quite bad - even for me, but the lighting in there was just not.working.for.me and we all know i have no idea how to take decent pictures anyway, so.. let's overlook this once, yeah? cool.

so, i ordered the cuban benedict, which i now can't see on the menu online, but definitely was in the menu on the table.. because that's how i ordered it. imagine: two perfectly poached eggs atop a bed of bbq pulled pork, layered on two toasted muffin halves. such a simple notion, yet such impressive delivery! the pork was incredibly tender, and combined with the runny egg and the chipotle-mayo dressing, was honestly a taste sensation. i'd devoured my plate of food in half the time it took bex to eat her breakfast tortilla (which, for the record, was also pretty tasty. yes, i tried hers as well as mine; don't judge me, it's my birthday), and i regret nothing. and, i could have easily eaten another full plate of it, it was just that good.

but you see, there wasn't time for a second plate of eggs, because it was on to the last - and possibly most exciting-for-my-belly course: mexican doughnuts. again, these come as part of the premium bottomless brunch menu, which is essentially three courses of food and bottomless cocktails (mimosa, bellini, bloody mary, or mojito) for £45pp, which.. i mean, that's incredible value, no? we opted for the champagne menu though (£70*pp), which is all of that plus as much perrier as you can drink in two hours. for us, that was two bottles. of champagne. over brunch. buzzzzziiiiing! the doughnuts are basically the most doughy, tasty, sweety balls of yum that you can imagine, and come covered in two kinds of sauces: chilli chocolate and minted caramel, and i am here to tell you that there wasn't a single dough-ball or hint of sauce left on either of our plates. did i mention the doughnuts are bottomless too? we managed about six each...

we were definitely there at that table longer than the two hour time slot, but we had bubbles to drink so the lovely staff overlooked that i think. it wasn't very busy when we arrived (1pm) but when we finally rolled out (three hours later) it had definitely picked up a little. the venue itself is very charming, and right in the heart of central london, so the perfect spot for a pre-birthday brunch. i'm very glad i choose to wear the newest addition to my "trouser wardrobe" that day though, as the elastic waist band came in waaaaay handy on the way home. quite fancying the mustard colour for autumn, too. you?

*we were guests of asia de cuba, but all words are very much mine.