Qubana, 1-3 Wood Street, Wakefield, WF1 2EL – Visit Now
Combining the Latin influences of Cuban cuisine with the traditional flavours of Spain, Qubana is a hugely popular tapas and grill restaurant in Wakefield city centre. The dishes here are a fusion of two cultures, made using ingredients that are locally sourced wherever possible and that change with the seasons as new and fresh produce becomes available. Some of the restaurant’s trademark plates include chorizo lollipops with rum butter and sour cream, vegan ropa vieja with pulled jackfruit in a spicy cumin and tomato sauce, and albondigas – traditional beef meatballs with a Rioja and tomato sauce – all prepared with the expertise of a Catalonian. Qubana’s setting is impressive, too: it occupies a very large corner building that was once a Barclays Bank, and underwent a £1m transformation when the restaurant’s owners took it over.
Inside, there are several different spaces to explore. As well as the main restaurant, there’s a private dining room in the former bank vaults, tailored to groups of between six to ten people with a direct line to the bar and a personal music station. Opening out onto George and Crown Yard, a cobbled alleyway behind the building, is Gin & Cocina, which serves a huge array of gins as well as pintxos plates, along with live music. There are small tables with bar stools that jut out into the street itself, beneath small lanterns, lending to the feel of a truly Spanish setting. Qubana also has a Mediterranean-style rooftop bar, La Terrazza, which is lit with candles and strings of lights and specialises in mojitos and gin – perfect for open-air summer parties as well as cozy winter gatherings.
The main menu at Qubana includes dishes from the Galician charcoal grill, including sirloin steak, pork ribs and charcoal roasted sea bass. There’s a strong selection of vegetarian tapas, featuring traditional favourites such as slightly battered aubergine slices with orange blossom honey, as well as a set of vegetarian mains alongside the meat and fish offering. Qubana serves up Sunday roasts with a twist – accompaniments include cider roasted honey glazed root vegetables with Valencia orange and creamy saffron mash – and some extremely tempting puddings. If the culinary delights weren’t enough, the restaurant also hosts regular events such as Copaqubana, an evening of tribute acts, steak night and networking opportunities. More like several bars in one building, there’s something here for everyone.