Cafe Havana: Cuban Cuisine for our #LJCxZomatoFoodCrawl 2nd Stop

After our cozy brunch at Lorenzo's Way, we got back up to our feet and headed over to Cafe Havana.  
cafe havana
At that juncture, I did not know anything about Cafe Havana except for two things: (1) it serve Cuban fusion dishes (2) the name reminds me of the Latin Pop song "Havana" by Camila Cabello.

cafe havana
While on our way there, I got to catch up with fellow foodies, met new ones and more importantly, it reminded me why I love food in the first place...  

cafe havana greenbelt
Food brings people together.

In my field of work, I would always be on one of the two adversarial sides. With my workmates, we all have our own cublicles and own tasks.  But once there's food everyone would gather in the pantry and the room will be filled with warmth and laughter.  

Ever since we were young, we were taught to cooperate with each other so we can enjoy a meal together.  My mom is the best marketer.  My youngest sister does the ingredient preparation such as cleaning, cutting and peeling.  My older brother and second younger sister does the cooking.  My  first younger sister does the dish washing and I do the drying.  Apart from daily meals, there are also special meals during occasions shared with all our relatives.

cafe havana
Food Styled by John Bunag
#LJCxZomatoFoodCrawl A flatlay with many different dishes combined together is akin to a foodie event like a food crawl is also like it.  In this food crawl, the LJC group, zomato and fellow foodies gathered together.  The foodie community is the friendliest community.  Even when we just met, everyone will get along and talk with other over food or about food.  Everyone will lend a hand and respect one another's skills.  Usually, in events like this, I am just a bystander awed and inspired by everyone.  This food styling is done by the great John Bunag.  I couldn't do the flatlay as well as they do though so I just shot this as I see it.  

Now that you know the meaning of food for me, ready to dig in Cafe Havana's Cuban Fusion dishes?  Cafe Havana is not just for a chill out place at night.  It's a great place for lunch outs too!

Fun Fact
Because it's my first time to try Cuban cuisine, I couldn't resist digging into some facts.  Interesting enough although Cuba is 15,625 km away from the Philippines, they share a lot of things in common.

Did you know that:
  • Both of them were colonized by Spaniards for a long period.  Cuba became part of the Spanish Colony in 1492 until 1898 when the United States took over as the victor of the Spanish–American War.   On the other hand, the Philippines became part of the Spanish Colony in 1521 until June 12, 1898 when the United States took over as the victor of the Spanish–American War. 
  • Both of them have a tropical climate.
  • Both of them have a cuisine influenced by Spanish and Chinese dishes.
But when it comes to food establishments, Cuba has a defining feature of having government run restaurants (reputed to have slow service and bland meals) as opposed to private-owned ones called "Paladares".  In Cuba most businesses are run by the government and it is only recently that their privatization laws has started to loosen up.

sopa de frijoles negros
Sopa de Frijoles Negros (175 php)
I don't know what black beauty means but this reminded me about a discussion with my work mates a few days back when we were talking about the new female staff.  One of my colleagues said, "I like her beauty.  She is not very beautiful but she looks more beautiful the more you get to see her.".  This Sopa de Frijoles Negros made of black beans has that appeal to the taste buds.  At first sip, it will give you an impression but you aren't sure if you like it.  Then, as you sip more... it grows on you and fall in love with it more and more.

Platos Principales
carribean style salmon with mango mambo salsa
♥ Caribbean Style Salmon with Mango Mambo Salsa (635 php)
Because of this dish, I just googled and found out that Cuba is located at the northern Caribbean.  The next thing I I noticed about the Caribbean Style Salmon with Mango Mambo Salsa is its price!  Yet, although this is one of the most expensive salmon dish I've had, I could tell that there was a lot of craft in the process.  They say Philippine mangoes are the best.  It is truly shown by th mango and grain mustard sauce.  The squid ink rice is similar to a Paella Negra which is normally priced at a premium.  

spare ribs habanera
 Spare Ribs Habanera (605 php)
I really liked the Spare Ribs Habanera with guava sauce.  I liked it because I don't get to have guava sauce that often.

carribean shrimp curry
Caribbean Shrimp Curry (450 php)
Among all dishes, I find curry to be most intriguing.

  • First, you'd think it's named curry because of the curry leaves as essential ingredients but it is actually a blend of spices.
  • Second, it dates back to 2600 BCE.  The concept of curry power was a British concept which helped it spread around the globe.  Now, it even comes in paste form.  
  • Third, because it is a mix of spices as a general rule.  There's a lot of diversity and creativity into play.  It is made difficult due to culture, tradition, religious practice and preferences.  Aside from being composed of different kinds of spices, the spices can vary by being whole or ground; cooked or raw, fresh or dried, and when it is added.  Moreover, cooking it can be different due to the base like water, broth, cream, milk, coconut milk or yogurt.

This is the first time for me to try a Carribean curry with the Caribbean Shrimp Curry.  From the color, yellow curry reminded me of Chinese curry and Thai curry.  I'm not an expert to tell what's infused in it.  All I know is that it is really good with coconut curry.

chuletes de pollo con arroz mejicano
Chuletas de Pollo con Arroz Mejicano (465 php)
The Chuletas de Pollo con Arroz Mejicano looks really appetising with its vibrant color.  I can't say the same for the flavor.  For our local taste buds, it would be considered bland.  But, I appreciate its simple taste as it is.

Pizza Cubana
doble cara
♥ Doble Cara (545 php)
Ordering the Doble Cara means you get to choose two kinds of pizza.  I don't really know why someone would pass that chance so I dare say it is the best option.  We got the Jamon Serrano and Quatro Quezo.  The pizza is oven cooked so I like the texture and flavor.  Everyone fell in love with the Quatro Quezo!

guyaba pie
♥ Guyaba Pie (165 php)
I thought the Guyaba Pie is filled with Guyabano so I got excited because it is my favorite.  Turns out in Cuba and Spain, they call guava Guayaba.  My bit of disappointment faded as soon as I tried this.  I didn't know a guava could be an excellent pie option.  No wonder that in Cuba, they are fond of guava desserts.  

pudin de pan habanero
Pudin de Pan Habanero (160 php)
The Pudin de Pan Habanero  is a Cuban-styled bread pudding.  This is really good!

So that concludes our second stop for our Cafe Havana #LJCxZomatoFoodCrawl.  It was satisfying for my tummy and my epicuriosity.  

Cafe Havana Greenbelt 3
Business Address Level 1, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Greenbelt, Makati City, Metro Manila
Business Hours 11am-4am
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 600-1,500
Free WiFi No
Contact (02) 246-9069 ext:794
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