Guanabana claims to be pan-South American and Caribbean, but in reality has an almost pan-global outlook. Everywhere you look, there’s something to drag your thoughts elsewhere: here’s a Vettriano print on the wall; there’s a string of apparent Christmas decorations; a pretty back terrace is filled with Middle Eastern hookahs and Japanese fans. The effect is fun and quirky, if a little distracting.
Unfortunately, the kitchen seems confused too. From the equally roaming menu, we chose cream cheese-stuffed jalapeños with a Thai-style sweet chilli sauce, and spicy papa criollas (roasted potatoes) served with a tomato sauce, patatas bravas-style. Both were fine, but the main courses didn’t match up. Grilled red snapper with a vibrant salsa was artfully presented, but the fish was tough, and its advertised roast plantain accompaniment absent. A traditional-looking chickpea, green mango and coconut stew with tasty rice and peas was more successful, yet didn’t over-excite.
Still, staff are helpful and attentive, and the decent prices, outdoor area and BYO policy make this a good party venue. Perhaps if it could rein in its wanderlust and retain culinary focus, Guanabana could fulfil its Latin promise.