The Chino/Latino restaurant, located within Morgans Hotel Group's St Martin's Lane hotel, has offered a bar area since it opened, but restaurant manager Yvonne O'Connor told BigHospitality the business now wanted to give the bar its own focus and provide an environment for a wider range of eating and drinking occasions.
"Our customers often come for a drink at the bar before eating in the restaurant, but more are wanting to stay and eat there or come just for a drink," she said. "They want to try something different, so we came up with a cocktail and ceviche bar."
The bar now stocks 51 varieties of rum from 18 different countries. A dedicated sugarcane based cocktail list has been created to utilise the bar's sugarcane press, provided by Cuban rum brand Havana Club.
Cocktails include the Tocororo Julep, a combination of Havana Club Selection de Maestros rum, fresh sugarcane juice, peach purée and peach liqueur and the Guarapo, a mix of Havana 3yr Rum, fresh sugarcane juice and orange juice.
A Mojito and Ceviche pairing menu has also been created, matching sugarcane cocktails to some of the restaurant's ceviche dishes which have been created by Asia de Cuba executive chef Luis Pous. The new menu is set to launch this month.
Asia de Cuba, founded by Jeffrey Chodorow and inspired by Havana's Chinatown, opened its first site in 1997 within the Morgans Hotel in New York. The London restaurant opened in 1999 with an Abu Dhabi restaurant opening at the St Regis hotel in Abu Dhabi last year.