CloverEats: Rubamba in New Haven
I’ve had amazing arepas from the Ay! Arepa food cart, and so was excited to check out the restaurant Rubamba. I think this experience confirms how big a difference presentation can make – just look at how beautiful the arepa looks above, plated so precisely! Compare that to the food cart version (separate post to come) below, which while delicious, doesn’t have nearly the same oomph.
The restaurant is quite humble in appearance, with simple white and red walls.
The meal starts off with delightfully bright chips and salsa. I half-expected to taste Dorito-style powder on the red chips, but nope, they are fresh and fantastic. Often, appetizer chips are far too salty, but these were nice and mild. I did have one chip that was very soggy, but the rest of the basket was crisp.
The horchata is quite good here, with a nice whipped cream top. The first time I tried horchata, a sweet almond rice drink with cinnamon, I wasn’t sure how much I would like it, but now it’s one of my favorite go-to drinks. Very cool and refreshing!
We also got a Venezuelan arepa with fish, which came with fresh avocado slices, tomato, and oaxaca cheese. While good, I much preferred the Colombian arepa pictured above. Arepas are sweet corn cakes made with corn and mozzarella, and they are absolutely fantastic. The dish comes with rice, plantains, vegetables, guacamole, and sour cream. Absolutely fantastic, and huge! I took half of it home and look forward to enjoying leftovers.