Café Havana is one of the 1st few restaurants in Greenbelt 3. I would remember back in the mid 2000’s that this Latino-Cuban restaurant, the bar would come across as something interesting. Why so?
You would see expats frequent this place and over the years as it developed this reputation where foreigners would come and meet the “dalagang Filipina” of their dreams so to speak. The famous al fresco area became their meeting. But see, there’s more to this Greenbelt 3 tenure restaurant.
The late Larry J. Cruz. Founder and president of the LJC Chain got inspired from his trips to Cuba. There’s something about Cuba’s collective vibe and more so its vibrant cuisine. This restaurant offers homecooking inspired Cuban comfort food that are married with spices and flavor that are pretty similar to Spanish and African cooking, with some Carribbean influence.
Stepping inside Café Havana transports you to a cuban cigar and bar joint. The restaurant’s pastel-colored walls, historical décor commemorating Larry J. Cruz’s noteworthy photographs over the years, celebrity photographs, menu and classic cocktails are a love letter to his passion and the he grew fond of re-visiting when he was in Cuba.
The venue resembles a ’50s-era Havana bar, complimented by wooden homespun tables and chairs in the main dining area. Antique memorabilias and neon signs gives the space more character. Antique Cuban cigar boxes and rum bottles, historic posters and family heirlooms. During week nights, there’s live Latino music.
Our Recommended Food Choices
Popular foods in Cuba are replicated in Café Havana which include everything from rice and black beans withto chicken and shredded beef, and sampling the island cuisine is a real treat for your taste buds. Below are a few staple dishes you shouldn’t missed out on.
Bianca and I love our appretifs so we suggest that you grab a glass or two of their refreshing mojito. Tangy with enough punch to prepeare your palate to an excellent meal.
Inspired from sugar canes that grows abundantly in Cuba, rum is a tradition deep seated in Cuban culture. From the inhouse mojito prepared with muddled mint leaves and sugar to rum with a mixture of tropical fruit juices and the daiquiris that Hemingway famously guzzled at the Floridita Bar in Havana.
Sopa de Frijoles Negros (Cuban-style black bean soup)
Black beans are basically part of Cuban staple elements when it comes to food. Filling and comforting with every spoonful.
Shrimp in Coconut Curry Sauce
Chuletas de Pollo con Arroz Mejicano
Pan fried chicken breast topped with sauteed onionss served with Mexican rice.
Carribean Style Salmon with Mango Mambo Salsa
Fillet of juicy salmon steak complimented with mango and grain mustard sauce, served with fluffy squid ink rice.
Succulent baked pork spareibs served with Cafe Havana’s unique thick guava sauce.
Pudin de Pan Habanero
The cuban version of a bread pudding. Rich, thick, and yet delicate to the taste. The perfect ending to a nice meal.
A warm guva pie with light whipped cream served on the side. You’d want to pair this with coffee.
Our overall take
Café Havana yields more than just a ‘meet up’ bar they have so much to offer with their well thought out concept, background history, and with fine food influenced by places like Spain, Africa, and the Caribbean, plus invigorating drinks, such as the cocktails and the Cuba Libre (rum and coke), Café Havana sure feels almost designed to delight the palate and the senses.
The LJC Group never fails to deliver quality and cosistency over the years. Heck, we literally grew up eating at their restaurants. Learn more about their other concepts;
- Classic & Staple Selections
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