Asia de Cuba, Puerto Madero’s most glamorous restaurant and club is an-all-in-one destination for the young, beautiful and botoxed looking for a little dinner and dancing. The pleasing ambiance here exudes a sort of vague interpretation of ‘orientalism,’ with shimmering gold curtains encasing tables, chaise lounges and a paradoxical gold buddha statue reclining across the bar.
For mere mortals, it’s recommended to make reservations and put on your best dancing shoes, otherwise the doorman may subject you to inspection, just to remind you that you are in for an exclusive dining experience. Once you pass the test and are seated though, the service by the beautiful waitstaff is some of the most attentive in Buenos Aires.
Unlike some of the more fly-by-night designer restaurants in the port city that serve sushi, Asia de Cuba has a certified sushi chef and the rolls prepared by Mariano Nakar are very good, although sometimes the range of fish available is limited. Unless you just got off a plane from Tokyo, a solid choice here is the cold sake and impeccable sushi platters, but other offerings on the menu include traditional Argentine dishes with a twist — tenderloin steak served with country potatoes and vegetables sauteed in cognac and Argentine-Asian fusion plates such as shrimp and ricotta raviolis with creamed curry sauce. For dessert, try original creations such as the malbec wine mousse served over a base of dark chocolate. On weekends, Asia de Cuba takes the cultural medley one step further with a very entertaining live belly dance performance.
At 1am the tables are cleared out of the central dining area and Asia de Cuba transforms into a medium-size nightclub. A good time is guaranteed if you retain a VIP table on the dance floor’s edge, but expect to leave the club at least a thousand pesos poorer. The 622-capacity disco is the perfect size, smaller than the overwhelming mega clubs like Pacha but large enough that there are plenty of people to meet and take for a whirl on the dance floor. The music ranges from Latin, Techno and American Pop classics, depending on the night. Hip-hop dominated Thursday nights are particularly popular with foreigners. While the club aims to appeal to those in their 20 and 30’s, apart from models and pro athletes, the median age can reach into the 40’s and is accommodating to the pre-raver, post-divorce crowd.
The outdoor table seating, overlooking the water is an exquisite dining experience in the spring and summer if there are not the occasional odors rising from the polluted and sometimes stagnant Riachuelo.
Asia de Cuba is open for lunch and dinner everyday, and the disco operates from Wednesday to Saturday nights. Those who dined here can just stay on for the dancing, otherwise entrance to the club costs AR$ 60 per person, including one drink.
Visitors feeling far from home may want to check out the offerings of Asia de Cuba on Halloween and New Year’s Eve when the all-night parties host a exceptionally international array of guests.
Asia de Cuba—$$$/$$$$-≈
Pierina Dalessi 750
(or Olga Cossenttini 751)
• Credit cards accepted