**Restaurant permanently closed***Website: https://www.facebook.com/cocinabandito
Cocina Bandito! Say what?! The exact thought ran through my head when I first heard of this place. Turned out it is Cuban, turned out it is the latest venture from the team behind the Classroom, Cocktail Gastronomy and Lucky Chan’s, Australia first crowd-funded restaurant. It has to be flashy, and so it is!
Cocina Bandito is a pop up restaurant operating for the next couple of months at 140 Perth bringing Cuban cuisine to us Perthians. The PFEs were invited to the opening of Cocina Bandito a couple of weeks ago and boy, was it awesome! Latino beats, Havana club cocktails and my first taste of Cuban food!
These mojitos and daiquiris were delicious and much welcomed after a hot day and a long walk from my office.
Did I mention a few beautifully and brightly dressed models at the party. They went all out with the shebang!
Onto the food, the first tasting we had was of the tortilla chips topped with BBQ prawns. They were delicious! I had a few (many few) of these! Definitely have to try the real serving of these next time.
Next came the croquettes with a hidden agenda! Huge ball of fluffy and creamy potato crumbed and deep fried with a nice surprise on the inside. I thought it was all potato until you reach the middle and encounter some tasty pulled pork pieces. This was my favorite of the night!
We also had a taste of the ‘Bay of Pigs’ traditional ‘Cubano’ roast pork belly sandwich. Layers of pork, cheese and mustard sauce. It was quite filling!
By this stage I was getting a bit thirsty and decided to go for a Cruzcampo lager, a premium quality pilsner beer from Spain to quench the thrist. It was light tasting with an aromatic floral aroma and a dry finish.
The next batch of menu taster came and it was the ‘El Presidente’ chicken Cuban rice. I thought the rice was a bit bland so I decided to utilize the cute looking condiment pistol shooters containing a few potent chili sauces to give it some oomph. There were the guatanemo death sauce, green piquant and motorcycle dairy sauce.
I do not know which sauce was the green sauce you see in the picture above but it was extremely and numbingly hot. My friend raised her eyebrow at me when she saw the squirts on my rice and I was so confident I could conquer this sauce, but alas! Gulping my beer in earnest after one spoonful of the rice.
The corn fritters that came next were a delight! I could eat them all day. Another favorite!
The crowd had thinned out substantially at this stage and I managed to have a quick chat with Andrew Bennett, one of the owners behind this wonderful venture. He told me to stay for the dessert as it will be good (with a big smile). Oh. dessert is coming? It was a big yes, and came as doughnuts soaked in liquor, shaped either as the number 8 or the infinity sign (the engineering brain sways more towards the infinity sign :p). Very nice!
The Cocina Bandito’s menu shown below. Don’t wait too long before you go for a visit as they won’t be here for long! Thanks to Cocina Bandito and Caitlin for the invite! It was heaps of fun!