Alma de Cuba puts in a strong bid as Liverpool’s most spectacular restaurant and bar complex. It certainly looks impressive, with the magnificent conversion of a former 18th-century Catholic church taking in stained glass windows, stacks of candles and wall-mounted antlers. But it’s the clubby vibe in the ground-floor bar that draws the crowds and helps bring the mezzanine restaurant to life. From themed meals, such as Samba Afternoon Tea, Celtic Christmas Dinner and the ever-popular Gospel Brunch, to festivals alive with belly dancers and ticker tape, there’s always something going on at this lively venue in central Liverpool.
The food is diverting, too – a jazzy mix of Mediterranean, Hispanic, Latin American and oriental influences with the occasional steak and burger added to the mix. Expect anything from honey and thyme goat’s cheese bonbon with sweet chilli jam to jerk chicken, mojito lamb rump or chipotle salmon. There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options too, along with a tempting tropical fruit-based dessert list featuring the likes of orange polenta cake, pineapple and mango cheesecake, and passionfruit posset.
If you like a side of serotonin with your Sunday brunch, be sure to check out the Gospel Sunday Brunch. You’ll be treated to an afternoon of soulful singing from Alma De Cuba’s gifted Gospel Choir, which takes to the historic altar stage each week to serenade diners as they tuck into the likes of Caribbean-inspired mussels, roast rump of beef, and chocolate brownie with caramel and vanilla ice cream. Great for celebrations, including hen and stag parties, it’s an experience you won’t forget.
A decent list of South American and Caribbean-inspired cocktails, both classic and alternative, along with the usual beers, wines, spirits and softs help to crank up the action. And no matter what night of the week it is, you can always guarantee pulsating, Latin-influenced rhythms.