Coco Cubano
Top Ryde City Shopping Centre Tenancy R3005
109-129 Blaxland Rd
Top Ryde, Sydney

Coco Cubano is taking over Australia one restaurant at a time. While most of their venues are in Sydney, they have impressively located in Charlestown (Newcastle), Joondalup (Western Australia), Mackay (Queensland) and Wollongong.

We were at the Summer Menu launch at their Top Ryde restaurant - themed "Endless Summer with a Cuban Twist" and it was a delicious feast we certainly won't forget in a hurry.

Coco Cubano brings the taste, feel and vibe of Cuba to Australia in style. Owners Tony and Avril Melhem have created a tropical paradise - quite a few in fact - that allow you to escape and experience Cuban food, drinks and style right here on your doorstep.

This was a feast, as we were about to travel through the new Summer menu for Coco Cubano. This of course started with cocktails. The Coco Colada was a lovely take on the Pina Colada and so refreshingly hard to stop drinking.

The food started with tostones - thin yet very crunchy plantain chips that were so delish. They were served with two very tasty sides, a thick chunky guacamole and a tangy mango salsa that Mlady adored. Both were delicious. Then we had the Havana dip plate - refried beans, guacamole and tomato served with tortilla chips. Another great starter.

Time for another drink (or two) and we tried the cucumber and jalapeno Margarita. Again it was a great variation on the more traditional drink with the prominent freshness of the cucumber nicely lifted by the zing of the jalapeno finish.

We love fried chicken and this variation, fried chicken drumettes with red mojo dipping sauce, were great. They were so crisp on the outside yet still tender and juicy inside. Then there was the chilli caramel pork belly with green mojo dipping sauce. Sir couldn't resist either of these and kept returning to both dishes, again and again!

The tropical prawn salad was light, fresh and tangy. It was different to your usual salad - it had lettuce, hearts of palm, tomato salsa, mango salsa, avocado and green mojo dressing. It was vibrant in both colour and taste and topped with plenty of juicy prawns. The elote - chargrilled corn cob drizzled with red mojo aioli, Parmesan and lime was such a tangy way to have corn - even Sir enjoyed it! 

Their Cuban fried rice was another lovely adaption, scattered with chorizo, chargrilled corn and black beans. It was almost a meal on a plate.

Then more meat arrived in the form of Arroz Con Pollo. This tasty spiced and butterflied half chicken was served on a bed of tender brown sofrito rice.

Eating is hard work and it's thirsty work too. Our next tipple was some sangria - which arrived in a jug topped with fresh mint, strawberries and orange slices. We love sangria and somehow managed to keep the jug arriving back in front of us.

Sandwiches at dinner time - hell yes if they're The Cubano.

This action packed sambo has sliced ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard.

This sandwich was recommended as a favourite, and it was easy to see why. It was a big sandwich and so tasty.

The red meat quota was well and truly met with the arrival of the beef short ribs.

These beauties were slow cooked on the BBQ with a rum glaze and served on top of a big bed of crispy fritas - or chips.

The meat was so tender it really did fall off the bone and the rum glaze added delicious tang.

Our final main course was the Pork Ropa Vieja - which was basically a do-it-yourself soft tortilla kit.It comes with a pile of tender pulled pork on one side of the plate and beans and rice on the other. You then just fill the tortilla's with as much of each as you want - and of course a drizzle of the fresh lime as well. A simple garden salad was also served.

As it was a big event launching the new Summer Menu there were some brief speeches.

Tony and Avril thanked all their crew and their suppliers (and many of them were there) as well as all the guests attending.

It's so clear that the passion they have permeates there whole business and all the people who work for Coco Cubano.

Did someone say dessert? We started with a delicious citrus cheesecake with passionfruit, fresh pineapple and caramel sauce. Mlady is the cheesecake expert and she loved it. Then it was a drink, and what a drink it was! The chocolate and rum washed brownie was to die for. Sir is a rum drinker and was so full but just couldn't put this down.

Donuts are another love of us both, so the Bunuelos, or donut balls, were another treat. These arrived at the table piping hot and were then tossed in a brown paper bag with cinnamon sugar before being put in a bowl. Two "sides" were there for dipping purposes - a pot of clearly high quality chocolate and a dish of tangy berry jam. We had each and then both. Oink.

The grand finale was undoubtedly the arrival of one of their "crazy shakes". This one was a triple choc batido - and you could hear the gasps of choc delirium when they arrived. The rich choc drink was topped with whipped cream and choc fudge chunks (and a cherry) and all served in a choc dipped jar. It looked great and tasted just as good!

Coco Cubano has something for everyone. They're open for breakfast, lunch and dinner so escape a bit and experience the tastes and delights of Cuba in your own backyard.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Coco Cubano. Big thanks to owners Tony and Avril Melhem and to everyone there who looked after us so well. Thanks also to Rachel Cameron of The Society Group for inviting us to this event.

Coco Cubano Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato