Rumba's Colombian celebration

It was a happy day for many when Rumba got its license. Since then it's become a (partially) underground hotspot in Muscat, packed at weekends, with talented bartenders serving up the best strawberry margaritas in the country. And I don't like margaritas. Ask me why not one day; it's an excuse to tell you a story of me at my most debauched.

With all its popularity and boozy goodness - do you know you're allowed to take your drinks onto the terrace now? - you'd be forgiven for forgetting why it was that Rumba managed to survive and thrive through the Long Dry Year at The Cave. Their food is really good, and authentically Latin American. (They do have some of the tex-mexish stuff too, but the best food coming out of the kitchen is made by the chefs working to their mothers' recipes. Top tip: if you don't recognise something on the menu, order it.)

This week, Rumba is holding a celebration of Colombian cuisine. Given that my only experience of this has been at Rumba, it was nice to see fresh Colombian dishes featured on their special menu. I had the potato and chicken soup: delicious, very homestyle and nourishing. It's not pictured here due to my inability to capture neutral-toned foods. I came to Rumba straight from four and a half hours of swimming, so a soup was welcome, as were meat-and-potato balls. Like many meat-and-potato dishes, this sounds better in any other language: papa rellena. Unlike any other meat-and-potato dish, however, this one was light as air. How do you take a potato, fill it with beef, and turn it into little tasty bites lighter than the sum of its parts? The steak on horseback came with a fried egg on top and tasty little biscuits you can use to break the yolk and dip. The paisa platter was another hit, with dozens of flavour combinations, the charred and moreish pancake being my favourite. I didn't try dessert because - to my outrage - it turns out that Tres Leche, the world's best dessert, is not Colombian, and once you've been stunned by Tres Leche there's just no point trying anything else in a Latin restaurant, or maybe any restaurant, so I sulked into my margarita instead of eating the coffee flan which was apparently lovely.

Rumba's Colombian menu is available now and will be until the 22nd; there's a flyer below with details.

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