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Cafe Havana's Cuban Restaurant and Bar in Makati

Cafe Havana's Cuban Restaurant and Bar in Makati

Cafe Havana is the second stop for our #LJCxZomatoFoodCrawl. The first one was in Lorenzo's Way which was, by itself, an all-out feast already. This is why we were a bit hesitant if we could still proceed with another set of offerings from Cafe Havana. Given our nature as foodies, we heeded our "hunger" for adventure.

Read about Lorenzo's Way which is the first of this 3-part series: Lorenzo's Way - an LJCxZomato Food Crawl Experience

Interior of Cafe Havana in Greenbelt 3

Breaking the common notion
Most of us have an image that comes to mind when we hear Cafe Havana. It usually starts with "Oh, is that the place with..." and so on. However, behind that label people put, Cafe Havana houses interesting line-up of dishes, and we explored them during this second stop of our food crawl.

As for its interior, Cafe Havana's has this retro look and feel, which adds up to its appeal. Match this up with beach-side elements from the Cuban inspiration, and you'll get a conducive ambiance to experience a rather "different" experience.

Cuban cuisine - celebrating diversity and "adventure"
I'm not sure if you can relate, but there are times when my palate gets tired from all the same familiar flavors. And during times like this, I want something rather peculiar to shock my buds thus giving it a fresh reboot. Well, that's exactly what I experienced here in Cafe Havana. Many dishes here capture a different set of spices, which my buds are not accustomed to. I found this rather interesting.

Anyway, let's start off with the soup.

Sopa de Frigoles Negros of Cafe Havana

Even by its looks, the Sopa de Frigoles Negros (P175) already seemed "uncommon". However, I didn't want to be intimidated just by its appearance. Hence, sticking by my pledge to be adventurous when it comes to food, I took a spoon, got a portion, and sipped it in. My eyes widened as the savory flavors of the black beans awakened my senses while the grainy texture of the bean gently massaged my buds.

Pizza in Cafe Havana, Greenbelt 3

Cafe Havana perhaps understands that not everyone is ready to try something new. Hence, they have classic dishes here as well such as pizza.

Caribbean Style Salmon with Mango Mambo Salsa of Cafe Havana

Next one served up was the Caribbean Style Salmon with Mango Mambo Salsa (P635) which I found a little dry perhaps due to the doneness of the grilling. I would have preferred it rightly cooked to retain its dreamy creamy texture. Still, the mango salsa and the squid ink rice helped in building up the overall experience.

Caribbean Shrimp Curry of Cafe Havana, Makati

The Caribbean Shrimp Curry (P450) came next, and it had this playful kick that got me a little crazy. It may not be as smooth as Japanese (or even Singaporean) curry but the flavors were so rich, and the spices were spot on! Among all the dishes I tried here in Cafe Havana, this is the one that I remembered the most.  

Chuletas de Pollo con Arroz Mejicano of Cafe Havana

Down for the last two main dishes, we had the Chuletas de Pollo con Arroz Mejicano (P465). While it could have been juicier to maximize the spices, it was comforting.

Spareribs Habanera of Cafe Havana, Makati

The chicken might have been somehow "regular", but the Spareribs Habanera (P605) was a total head turner. The pork was marinated well evidenced by the richness of its taste, and the sauce made the overall taste more dynamic with its lovable sweetness mixed with a subtle guava zest. It was also juicy, tender and exquisite. 

Okay, and that closes up the main dishes bringing us now to the desserts.

Guyaba Pie of Cafe Havana

Cafe Havana has an interesting collection of desserts. Most of which have a 'Cuban' twist that may bring us out of our comfort zone. But hey, as foodies, we should always be ready to try something new, right? So, that is what's in store for us here.

For the first dessert, we had the Guyaba Pie (P165). The menu states that this is their "exotic" guava pie, and they were not kidding. The strong electrifying sourness of this dessert put my taste buds in reset, which I found rather revitalizing. Well, honesty compels me to say that I'm not a fan, but it was undoubtedly fresh, bold and energizing.

Pudin de Pan of Cafe Havana - Cuban Pudding

Now, for those who want something "sure" and "less adventurous", you'll never go wrong with this next dessert.

The Pudin de Pan (P160) is Cafe Havana's homemade Cuban version of bread pudding. It had a right amount of sweetness that matched well with the fluffy yet creamy texture of the bread pudding.

This marks the end of the second leg of LJCxZomato Food Crawl. Up next, which is also the last stop, is Fely J's. Stay tuned! 

Cafe Havana - Overall Summary

Budget: at least P400 each for a moderate to heavy sharing type of dining experience for a group of at least 4
No. of visits for this particular restaurant/branch - 1 || Date of last visit - July 21, 2018

Cafe Havana surely goes beyond our notion of the restaurant. They also serve interesting line-up of dishes such as the Caribbean Shrimp Curry and the Spareribs Habanera. The ambiance and the service go hand-in-hand in bringing a relaxing and conducive dining experience.

It's pretty rare to find restaurants serving Cuban-inspired cuisine, hence, it's time to break free from the traditional tastes, and experience something "bold".

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Cafe Havana
Location: G/F, Greenbelt 3, Legaspi Street, Makati, Metro Manila
Contact No.: (02) 757 4371


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