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Restaurant interiors: Old time Cuba meets fun time Dubai at Rumba Cuban Bar and Kitchen

If you love ceviche and Cuban beats, new restaurant at Club Vista Mare, Rumba Cuban Bar & Kitchen is calling

Experience a taste of Cuba at Rumba Cuban Bar and Kitchen. Image│Supplied

For fans of all things old-time Cuban, Rumba Cuban Bar & Kitchen is the perfect addition to Dubai’s restaurant scene, which has been missing an authentic taste of Hispanic culture. With perfectly seasoned steaks, delicious cigars and a unique authentic atmosphere, the Cuban owned restaurant is a refreshing treat for the senses. B Living UAE visited and caught up with their interior designer – here’s the scoop:

The location

Well placed within the vibrant restaurant hub of Club Vista Mare, the good-time-ambience bar and kitchen feels at home on this water-fronted strip. With a decking area out front, we predict the winter season is going to put Rumba on the Dubai’s party scene. The deck’s tropical feel palette sofas provide a good teaser for what’s to come inside.

The interiors

Walking into the restaurant, you’re transported to 1950s Cuba, which considering it’s situated on a man-made isle in the Middle East must have proved no easy feat. B Living UAE spoke to the restaurant’s interior design, Jose Luis Quinceno, to find out how he achieved the look. “Cuban style, when defined, would be colonial and vintage,” says Jose.

“For Rumba Cuban Bar & Kitchen, we used a lot of different colours and then tried to age them with different techniques. For example, we had to weather the walls to give them a peeling effect that will also be good once the humidity gets intense in the city. The effect for the walls took a lot of work and I am proud to say that there are so many details in Rumba’s single wall and mural that it all can be presented as art itself.”

The restaurant is spilt by wall and decor style, and there’s a large smoking room where the walls are lined with fine stogies. “We began with the reception which we wanted to be inspired by a house lobby in Havana,” explains Jose when talking about the various zones in Rumba. “Then, from there, the ideas started sprouting, we wanted to have to have an area inspired by the cars and streets of Havana. Some areas are inspired by the salons for rich people in the early times, plus there’s a Hemingway-inspired boat and ceviche bar that sits at the centre, and a seperate lounge with Cuban map moulded in cement.”

Rumba manages to strike a perfect balance between old time Latin American and modern Instagram-worthy design. “We wanted to make sure that the place gives a vintage, sophisticated, and old-shiny vibe. Rumba Cuban Bar & Kitchen is actually the modern version of old Havana,” says Jose. “Through the right blend of old Cuban aesthetic and contemporary elements, we definitely achieved the marriage of old and modern.”

The ambience

An upbeat soundtrack of Cuban music and mood lighting sets the fun tone here. “We wanted the guests to feel the Hispanic atmosphere throughout the property,” says Jose. Most definitely achieving his aim, the lively feel of the restaurant got us excited for brunches here, as we’re predicting they’ll be pretty lively. Plus, if you’re a cigar smoker then the fully kitted out lounge here is sure to get you excited.

The food

With a large, if a little confusing, menu there’s plenty of choice for all dietary requirements. Though it must be said, carnivores and lovers of fish will have a particularly good time here. The fish and Wagyu steak we tried were cooked to perfection, while the sides were equally as delicious. We’d recommend making a night of it and sampling the expansive drinks menu including Cuban themed cocktails – what happens in Cuba stays in Cuba?

In summary, if you’re after top quality food, a funky atmosphere, and vibrant interior design, Rumba is the place to book.

Read more restaurant interior reviews here.

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