Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Reviews

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Fed up with celebrity chefs drizzling sauces over undercooked pieces of meat? I am!

I regularly dine out and am happy to share my restaurant experiences, and views on food, with you.

Friday, November 10, 2006

La Habana

Restaurant

La Habana
Sveavagen 108
113 50 Stockholm
Sweden

Phone (46) (8) 16 64 65

Website www.lahabana.se

Overview

Eva and I were in Stockholm last week, and decided to try out La Habana; Stockholm's first Cuban restaurant. La Habana is open Monday to Saturday 17:00-01:00, it contains a restaurant, bar, salsa club and cigar club.

Ambience

La Habana occupies two floors; one bar and the main restaurant being on the ground floor, with the other bar and salsa dancing area being in the basement.

It is charmingly rustic; wood being the material of choice for walls, bars, tables and chairs.

As we went there on a Friday night is was absolutely packed, and you are strongly advised to book in advance.

We were warmly welcomed and, as we had arrived early, partook of some cocktails in the downstairs bar. I should point out that rum is the drink of choice in La Habana, they have a variety of dark and light rums which make jolly agreeable cocktails.

I would make one observation about the door policy, there is a 20SEK charge per person for leaving your coats. This may be fine if you are just coming in for a drink. However, given that this is not the Savoy, I feel that to have to pay for leaving your coat, when you are paying for dinner as well is excessive.

I would also note that, because of the proximity of the main door to the restaurant, everytime someone entered or left there was a draft. I would recommend some form of curtain that shields the diners from this draft.

La Habana had a great atmosphere both downstairs and in the restaurant, lively and fun without being intrusive.

Menu

The menu offered a good selection of simple Cuban food including; ensaladas, fried chicken, tuna, swordfish and lamb.

I would note that the menu was not in English. However, the staff all spoke good English and would be more than happy to help explain the menu.

Service

The service was very good; efficient, friendly and prompt. I would also note that despite the fact that the place was full, we were shown to our table exactly at the time that we had reserved it.

Food

Eva started with the scampi sauteed in olive oil and garlic. These were fresh and tasty, neither too much oil or garlic had been used to overpower the taste.

I chose the chicken "Pio Pio" to start with. This was deep fried chicken breast with banana chips and a spicy side dip. The chicken was good, if a little dry (it needed the sauce to dip). However, I would say that the banana chips did nothing for me. I feel that fresh banana served with this dish would be better.

Eva, for her main course, chose the chicken "Pio Pio". Oddly, although the banana chips were again served with it, a fresh banana had also been added which did work well. The dish was accompanied by dark rice with black beans, this made an ideal compliment to the chicken and Eva was well pleased with her choice.

I chose the grilled breast of cockerel for my main course. This was a fine piece of meat, not overcooked but tender and unctuous. It was accompanied by green rice (cooked with basil), salad and a paprika sauce. Absolutely first class, and thoroughly enjoyable.

The meal, which included a bottle of Moet and liqueurs, came to 1545SEK including tip.

Overall Opinion

A great place for a good night out, we will definitely return.

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