Food review: La Cha Cha Cabana

Upstairs in The Kitchens, Robina Town Centre Ph: 07 5562 0627

It was the smile that first got us in. The young couple gave customers such a warm welcome that of course we had to buy their food, even though it looked different. We tried arepas and loved them and the Perez family’s stall, Fiery Deli, became one of our favourite market brunch haunts.

We obviously weren’t alone, the family expanding their business from a market stall to a food truck, followed by a move to The Kitchens, Robina and Westfield Chermside.

Post their COVID closure in 2020, it’s great to see Eric and Trish, together with Eric’s bubbly brother Kevin, reopen their restaurant in The Kitchens renamed as La Cha Cha Cabana, a South American/Caribbean styled bar and grill.

Their new grill combines healthy Venezuelan street food and the Gold Coast’s favourite food – cocktails.

Arepas, Venezuela’s favourite street food dish, holds pride of place in the menu. Made on maize or corn meal and cooked to order, arepas are naturally gluten free, with no preservatives or additives. A pocket bread filled with your choice of pulled beef or free-range chicken, locally-sourced salad vegetables, onion, rice, black beans, haloumi, capsicum, avocado, fresh herbs and spices or any combination of the above, an arepa makes a healthy, flavour-packed, filling meal which is easy to grab in two hands.

It’s food which fits neatly into the Gold Coast lifestyle: adaptable to our diet and easy to eat on the go; affordable yet nutritious; dairy and gluten-free, with fillings suitable for vegans, vegetarians, meat lovers or those with food intolerance.

With a delicious range of dishes, from starters of plantain chips and guacamole through arepas to steak with chimichurri or the Vegan Amazonian, a traditional plate of Venezuelan quinoa, beans, roast vegetables, salad, cooked plantains and mini arepas, the menu is boosted with a great range of cocktails essential to make the evening ‘cha cha’.

There’s a lot to enjoy in the Perez family’s new bar and grill, new ideas in their fresh and healthy menu as well as bucketloads of enthusiasm and good humour. It’s not just me (the couple’s arepa groupie from their ‘before kids’ days) that gets the joy. La Cha Cha Cabana is a multicultural haven; a place to have fun drinking cocktails with the world-travelling brothers whose friendly faces shine in welcome for tourists and locals alike.

NOTE: Blank dined as a guest of La Cha Cha Cabana.

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