Since my last post, I’ve changed jobs and now I’m based in Joondalup until my contract ends in December. Since my last job in Joondalup back in 2013, there’s been a lot of change to the Lakeside Shopping Centre, with big names opening such as H&M, Ben & Jerry’s, Mama Tran, a Myer department store and in 2016 there will be an Aldi store opening as well.
When I met a colleague for lunch last week, we decided to try Coco Cubano, a Cuban influenced eatery with a variety of locations in NSW and QLD.
Once seated, Sean and I looked at the menu. The first thing I noticed was that the prices were quite reasonable. The second thing was that the dessert menu was epic – hot chocolate souffle, churros and waffles all made the menu and if I had had more time, I would’ve tried one of these!
The decor is quite quirky, with lots of framed photographs and posters on the walls, colourful floors, walls and everything in between and large ceiling fans that look like they would perfectly suit the Caribbean.
When our waitress came to take our orders, Sean asked which dishes she would recommend. She gave us two options – The Cubano Club and the Pulled Beef Burrito. Sean and I decided to share half of each.
There was a slight wait for our food to arrive after ordering and at the half hour point, I asked for our waitress to follow up our order. It was soon after when our food arrived.
The Pulled Beef Burrito ($11.90) was the first we tried and my favourite of the meal. The burrito featured slow cooked marinated pulled beef, smoky black beans, house made salsa, Cuban slaw dressed with lime chilli, cheese, sour cream and mild chilli aioli. This wasn’t anything like the burritos I was eating in the U.S., which had Mexican influences and I really enjoyed the flavours within this version. I loved that the tortilla was fresh and soft, unlike some you can find in Australia that are slightly stale and tough.
The Cubano Club ($12.90), featuring slow cooked marinated pulled pork, crispy bacon, parmesan crusted sourdough, pickles and mustard, had a hard act to follow and unfortunately, I wouldn’t order this dish again. The sourdough was a little too tough and the club itself was overall quite dry. The slow cooked marinated pulled pork was delicious though and once again, the combination of flavours was spot-on.
We also ordered a side of string fries ($5). These were generously seasoned with sea salt, which is exactly how I like my fries. I would’ve preferred these to have spent slightly longer in the fryer, but regardless, these were decent fries. Other reasonably priced side options for $5 include sweet potato wedges, chunky potato wedges and Cuban slaw.
All in all, I would definitely return to Coco Cubano, but when I have longer than an hour to eat, as I’ve spoken to a few other people who have visited Coco Cubano and the wait time is a recurrent issue highlighted. It’s a perfect venue for a leisurely, relaxed lunch. The menu has a really great selection of healthy options and is fully licenced, with South American wines and cocktails available.