There has been a lot of buzz around Cafe Habana, but I never got round to checking it out. I recently caught up with a former colleague and good friend so I decided to check out Cafe Habana, try Cuban cuisine for the first time and catch up over drinks and dinner.
Restaurant name and location: Cafe Habana at Souk Al Bahar, Dubai.
Atmosphere: Buzzing, Cuban tunes in the background. Busy even on a Sunday night. Cosy, yet cool. Felt like I was outside of Dubai.
What they say: A mix of straight-shooter authenticity and nonchalant cool, Café Habana has been serving culinary flair to New York City since 1997, making this Latin-American hotspot a favourite of neighbors, critics, and celebrities for over 15 years. The popular Latin hangout is inspired by a storied Mexico City luncheonette, where legend has it Che Guevara and Fidel Castro plotted the Cuban Revolution. The Dubai restaurant replicates Café Habana’s atmosphere with great authenticity, with delicious food, celestial cocktails, and a cozy local community aesthetic. It has been listed in Ahlan’s Hot 100 Restaurants and rated as one of Dubai’s 5 hottest restaurants in What’s On’s ‘Hot List’.
What to order:
Guaca and chips (Crispy chips, and comes with salsa and sour cream)
Cuban Sandwich (Their signature, heard it’s great – sadly they were out of the beef on that day. Tsk, Tsk.)
Sincronizada (A Tortilla based sandwich. Think Quessadilla with mozzarella, spinach and avocado! Delicious.)
Grilled Corn (I got it shaved, the best and tastiest corn I’ve tried! Sweet corn, salty cheese, tangy lime and chile. Oh, it’s worth visiting just to have this side.)
Chicken Diablo (They didn’t have the Cuban sandwich so our server suggested this. If you are craving a spicy chicken sandwich with fries, this one’s for you.)
Banana foster (Caramelised bananas, a touch of rum with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.)
Tres Leches Cake (It didn’t look appetizing on the menu, so I didn’t order it but my lovely server had to bring one to try as it’s their signature dessert. A sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milk – evaporated, condensed and whole. I was full, and couldn’t stop taking bites…)
Service: Staff looked cool and had no problem with the service.
What I loved:
-atmosphere, it’s buzzing on a weekday. I can’t even imagine how it would be on a weekend.
-They got the interiors right – the restaurant is quite small, cosy yet private and relaxed.
-Everything was delicious, and if you wanted extra spices – the sauces are ready on the table.
-Portions were perfectly sized – whether you wanted to have your own dish or share, they are generous yet not overflowing the plate.
What I didn’t love as much:
-I was so excited to try their signature dish, the cuban sandwich so I was bummed to find out they didn’t get their delivery of corned beef.
Bill for two: Around AED200
Contact details: For reservations please contact: 04 422 2620