Excellently located on Oranienburger Strasse (close to sushi hot spot Wasabi) opposite Tacheles, this Cuban restaurant tempts you with a heart-wrenchingly irresistible chalkboard offering cocktails for your pocket money. Just like the neighbours up and down the street. To survive on this strip of lively eateries in Berlin Mitte, you have got to be good. You have got to tempt in the pedestrians whose noses have been brushed with the flirtatious aromas of curry and who have bravely defied the Brick Lane style waiters gathering up the rumbling tummies into the Indian restaurants.
And anyone not quite craving a poppadom, or anyone who likes to flex their Erasmus Spanish like me will be delighted to know that the staff are Cuban natives – and it is good food. (I feel qualified to say this as I’ve stayed in the Hotel Nacional de Cuba and been served dried bananas, stale crisps and cold potato croquettes as nibbles – ’nuf said.)
The well-worn interior boasts Che Guevara wall motifs and seductive candlelight, whilst in Berlin’s sensational summer months one may prefer to people watch from the street tables.
So naturally one begins with a thirst quenching cocktail – and aside from the classic Mojitos and Cuba Libras there are some delicious fruity options which really pack a punch whilst awaiting the grub’s arrival.
Even the menu is a tastebud tickler with a flummoxing array of meats, fish, „salads“ and tapas platters. Start with nachos or fried plantain. Main dishes are generous, satisfying and surprisingly authentic (if one ignores the fact now-capitalist Berlin has no shortage of necessary ingredients). Sautéed fish filets served with humps of rice; chicken and beans; Hemingway platefuls; excellent seafood, great garnishes. Pretty divine if you’re craving a little Latino.
What makes this restaurant fabulous:
- The staff – beautiful curvy Cuban ladies; dark and handsome barmen
- The cocktails – stylish & strong
- The menu – satisfies all meaty / vegetarianistic cravings
- The location – Tacheles, Monbijou Park, Hackescher Markt… if you’re falling out of the Jewish Synagogue this might just restore your faith in the world
- Che Guevara beaming down on your tastiness
- Brushing up your Spanish (impressing friends/dates at the same time)
What makes this restaurant less fabulous:
- Slightly misleading seafood „salad“ – beware, its just mussels and limp lettuce drowning in garlicky oil!
[googleMap name=“QBA“ width=“400″ height=“400″ mousewheel=“false“ typecontrol=“false“ directions_to=“false“]Oranienburger Str. 45, 10117 Berlin [/googleMap]
Oranienburger Straße 45
030 28 04 05 05