New Restaurant Alert: Cubanos Fil-Cuban Cantina at City Golf, Pasig
Suddenly craving a Cubano after midnight? We've got you covered.
Cubanos Fil-Cuban Cantina
City Golf Compound, Julia Vargas Avenue, Pasig City
Open daily from 4 p.m. to 3 a.m.
(SPOT.ph) Here’s the situation: It's 2 a.m. and you’re about to call it a night after a few rounds at your favorite watering hole when, suddenly, you have a massive craving for a Cubano. In Manila, Cuban plancha sandwiches are still somewhat of a rarity. You can find them usually at weekend markets, international food pop-ups, and just a few specialty shops—all mostly daytime joints.
So where’s a foodie supposed to get his Cubano fix in the middle of the night? Lucky for you, when you find yourself in this very specific situation, Cubanos Fil-Cuban Cantina at City Golf Plaza still has an hour to go before the kitchen closes.
The latest concept from the group that gave us The Reserve Liquor Lounge and The Tipsy Pig, Cubanos Fil-Cuban Cantina focuses more on the eating side of things (though it also has a well-stocked bar that serves Cuban-inspired cocktails—but that’s a story for another time). Diners here can expect genuine Cuban flavors infused with Pinoy touches. If you’re the type who has reservations when it comes to trying unfamiliar dishes, it’s the perfect gateway to Cuban cuisine.
Onto the matter at hand: after-midnight Cubanos. After a post-drinking sesh, it’s customary to grab a bite before hitting the sack. The signature item is the Classic Cubano (P220) with roast pork and cheese, toasted under a plancha, then served with pickles and fries, but consider ordering the more indulgent Cubano Filipino (P220) instead. Served with an Asian soy dip, this comes with succulent pulled-pork lechon, crunchy roasted lechon kawali, and gooey cheese in a pan de sal-style bun. One order of this and you can call it a night.
Good Morning Cuba (P220)
PB and J Cubano
Then again, you might be in the mood for something lighter and less savory. Ever heard of a PB and J Cubano (P190)? The flattened, crispy sandwich is stuffed with crunchy peanut butter, raspberry jelly, sliced bananas—your childhood favorite has grown up to become even more delicious. The refreshing banana shake it comes with, however, will whisk you back to feeling like a kid again.
Fidel's Cuban Ribs
Enjoying a slice of Cuba at Cubanos Fil-Cuban Cantina, however, doesn’t need to come after knocking back a couple of cervezas. It doesn’t have to be through a Cubano, either. For a fuller meal, opt for items like Fidel’s Cuban Ribs (P220/half rack, P315/full rack). Marinated overnight and oven-cooked for four hours, these juicy, fall-off-the-bone babies explode with flavor as soon as you pop a piece in your mouth.
Peri Peri Inasal
You can also go for the Peri Peri Inasal (P220)—Peruvian-inspired grilled chicken with a Bacolod inasal twist; the smokiness is perfectly complemented by the tart aji sauce. Don’t forget to order BBQ’d Elote (P48/stick) on the side, too. The creamy, cheesy, and smoky grits give an extra savory kick to every bite.
Complete with fiesta lights hanging from the ceiling, the interiors of Cubanos Fil-Cuban Cantina are laidback yet vibrant. At one corner, stretched out onto the al freso dining area, is a replica of a food truck (which is actually the bar). It's reminiscent of the one in the 2014 comedy-drama Chef, starring Jon Favreau and John Leguizamo (a must-watch for all foodies). The film touches on several issues while cleverly revolving around a central topic: food—Cubanos, to be exact. It's impossible to watch without wanting to stuff your face with a nice, crispy sandwich after. Good thing Cubanos Fil-Cuban Cantina is open till late.
Photos by Enrico Miguel T. Subido