Food review: Cubatas Tapas Bar & Restaurant, 108 Elderslie Street, Glasgow

Cubatas - Gildas

Myself and the mysterious Mr.P booked our meal at Cubatas | Tapas Bar & Restaurant with a Living Social voucher knowing very little about it but seeing that it had excellent reviews on Tripadvisor and other Glasgow food bloggers were raving about it.

Located in the no-mans’ land between Charing Cross and Finnieston it has a modern well presented interior and lists Spanish tapas, as well as Mexican, Moroccan and Indian dishes (and perhaps others as well?).

We had some bread and almonds while we waited for our tapas but the bread was just standard white bread so was nothing special. It came with oil & balsamic. The almonds were crunchy, salty, smokey – a moreish appetiser. Yum!

Cubatas - Beer Orb
Cubatas – Beer Orb

The Living Social deal gave us the choice of a “beer orb” or bottle of wine, we opted for the former, which is an ice-filled beer dispenser brought to your table usually filled with Carling, or for only an extra £3 kozel – we paid the extra because we’re classy boozers. We also noticed a small selection of Spanish liqueurs at the bar mmm!

Raised eyebrows at our table when our orb arrived – we were told it held 5 litres of beer, it didn’t look that big so we had out doubts yet we got 9 full 500ml glasses out of it with a bit left so it was there or thereabouts which is actually pretty good, the beer was kept cool by the ice cubes and it saved us having to continually re-order.

Cubatas - meatballs
Cubatas – meatballs

Meatballs

Pretty good, nicely flavoured. There were 3 meatballs hidden in there. A little too spicy, but to be fair they were described as such.

Cubatas - Chorizo chilli
Cubatas – Chorizo chilli

Chorizo chilli

The chorizo was decent but the chilli was deceptively potent, in fact too hot making it pretty inedible, cooking with hot chillies is fine but what’s the point in eating tongue numbing chilli from a skewer? Perhaps so that you couldn’t taste how bland the next dish was (MEOW!)?

Cubatas - Calamares
Cubatas – Calamares

Calamares with garlic aioli and lemon wedge

Looked bought-in and tasted bought-in, rubbery inside with a flaccid exterior.

Cubatas - Gildas
Cubatas – Gildas

Gildas

Anchovies, peppers & olives (the cheap kind) wackily presented like a 1970’s cheese and pineapple hedgehog on a huge slice of bread. “Style” over substance so wasn’t impressed by this either.

Cubatas - Chicken Kebabs
Cubatas – Chicken Kebabs

Chicken kebabs

A bit dry, certainly didn’t look like it was freshly made and it came with non-descript brown sauce. Another poor show.

Cubatas - Pudin de canela
Cubatas – Pudin de canela

Cinnamon pudding cake

Mr. P decided not to order pudding but I ordered a Pudin de canela which in English is a cinnamon pudding cake at £4.25 (I think they thought we were gay so we got 2 teaspoons!) It was simultaneously dense & light and tasted a bit like the centre of a Gulub jamin so was actually very sweet & enjoyable and probably the highlight of the meal (along with the Kozel beer orb!)

Conclusion

£19.25 plus the cost of our voucher. Not costly for what we had and service was fine but food-wise it isn’t even remotely in the same league as say Tinto tapas or La Boca, which for our money is the most authentic Spanish tapas restaurant in Glasgow just now (review for La Boca & Tinto West-end coming soon…).

Cubatas was ranked number 13 on TripAdvisor for Glasgow when we visited but it really wasn’t doing it for us (it has since slipped to #35), in fact Mr.P commented that he could think of 13 better tapas restaurants in Glasgow never mind any other kind! So the high ranking seems to be yet another case of Tripadvisor’s wonky algorithm propelling new restaurants to the top of the charts but give it a year or two and it will be just any other restaurant in Glasgow. The music was also quite bad and sounded like what I’d expect to hear in the Spanish equivalent to Poundland, luckily you only heard it properly when inside the small but clean toilet.

TL;DR
+ beer orbs (and can pay £3 extra for better beer)
+ service fine
+ Spanish liqueurs available
+ Mens’ toilet clean

– Food of low quality
– Food either bland or super spicy, not much in-between!
– Music awful
– Not as good as Tripadvisor suggests it is

Cubatas Tapas Bar and restaurant on Urbanspoon

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Mr Foodie
Mr Foodie

Likes to travel, eat weird things and read three books at the same time.

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