Floridita – 19th October 2013
“When I first moved to London six months ago I shared a flat in Soho, very close to Floridita. I always passed by the door and even ventured in for a dance once. I never realised they served food, so I was eager to try.
I was very pleased to find a smiley and efficient receptionist who, when I arrived, took my coat and led me to our reserved table avoiding the high possibility of me getting lost. She took me downstairs through some fancy spiral stairs and got me to the second, and luckily last, reception. The first thing that grabbed my attention was the decoration of the place. I was fascinated by the neon lights and sparkling curtains, it was as if we were in an 80’s wedding ball, but with different people. I was hypnotized by the fantastic live Cuban music which was the background for the whole duration of the dinner.
Maria was already sitting at the table when I arrived, waiting with the biggest smile ever. We quickly started talking and soon the other members, Jeannete, Lola and James joined. We easily clicked and started talking and laughing as if we had known each other for a long time. As much as we wanted to keep on talking with our new friends from the night, we were told that we only had two hours on the table so we decided to concentrate on our orders.
There was a set menu which included 3 courses, live music & a Mojito for £29.50 (excluding service charge). It seemed to us like a good deal, otherwise if we were ordering from the menu, prices were expensive and we would have been charged an extra seven pounds for the music. So everyone went for the set menu, which included a choice of four courses in the starters, mains and desserts. After ten minutes we agreed that we did not fancy any of the starters, so as a responsible table host I made a deal with the waiter to substitute the starter for a side dish. But side dishes were even less attractive, it was mainly chips or spicy rice, so we returned to the original idea.
I took the plunge by ordering a starter: an avocado and palm heart salad with citrus and palm heart. The dishes came nicely decorated and the salad was delicious. Sadly, I was not so fortunate with the second dish; pork ribs with chutney and chips.
The pork dish was very well presented, but the taste did not mirror it’s appearance. It was an illusion. It was really tough, hard to cut with a knife and had most likely been dead a long time. The chips on the side had this oily flavour and texture that made you think they were cooked more or less when the pig was killed! Something similar happened with the fish that James had ordered. James found the salmon to be quite tough and lacking in flavour. Considering the short time they took to serve it, it was clear that it was not at all fresh.
The last course of our set menu arrived and I had ordered the sorbet. I was waiting for some kind of champagne – containing digestive drink but found myself in front of two ice balls which were overly sweet and tasted of food colouring.
Finally the mojitos came along. By then I had become slightly cautious as to what was about to arrive, so I took a tentative sip. Yes, they were good. Thank god. I guess we all forgot about the mediocre meal we had just had. Everything looks different when you are listening to good music in front of a nice mojito.
If you decide to try Floridita, then I highly recommend the Mojito and live Cuban music.”
If you want to meet Pilar at a future dinner? Why not connect with her on TableCrowd here.
Alternatively, if you fancy joining our next TableCrowd dinner, join Kerry Chu for dinner at a “charmingly unique Italian restaurant in the heart of Fitzrovia: Thank God It’s Friday! Dinner – 50% off food bill!