Direct choice: Asia de Cuba

In the past, London's restaurant scene was often dismissed by diners complaining of leaden dishes, stuffy service, old-fashioned venues and steep prices. Today's prices are loftier than ever, but the rest of the equation could scarcely be more different. London is awash with culinary temptation, so competition is intense.

Restaurant relationships are usually secured by simple virtues - a good maitre d' or a nice line in desserts - but some eateries are now dipping a spoon into the pot of direct marketing.

This mail-out pack is from Asia de Cuba, whose London branch can be found inside the St Martin's Lane hotel. A simple white tube contains a small rectangle of card featuring images of the company's four stunning restaurant interiors. The reverse carries the line 'Asia de Cuba is in your future. Fusion menu of Asian and Latin cuisines.'

Alongside the card, the tube contains two fortune cookies. Crack them open and offers such as a free Blue Martini, with Absolut Citron and DeKuyper Island Blue, are revealed. It's a nice touch, and fits the Asia side of the equation, if not the Cuba.

But will it entice customers through Asia de Cuba's glossy white doors? The fact that the company is so keen to do so can only be good news for London's ranks of bon viveurs.

- Direct agency Liquid Communications.

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