A new Cuban bar and restaurant called Little Havana will open on Wednesday 22 November on Inverness Street in Camden Town. The kitchen is a collaboration between Havana-born chef Raul Jarez Rodriguez and Pedro José Martínez Ferre.
The new restaurant aims to offer authentic Cuban food, which they say uses “subtle soft spices” while being rich in flavour. The menu will include tamales Cubanos (ground corn tamale wrapped in corn husk); croquetas de bacalao (salt cod fritters topped with crispy cod skin); and barrigada de cerdo asada (oven roasted marinated pork belly with mashed potato and sweet potato crisps).
A “Tabla de entremeses Cubanos” platter (£18) includes a selection of cured cheese, chorizo, salami, smoked ham served with cheese empanada, stuffed fried plantain, fried cassava and guava mayo, plus black bean humus.
Elsewhere, a section of the menu is devoted to “infamous grilled Cuban sandwiches,” all priced at £9.50 and served in a Cuban bread roll with lettuce, tomatoes, mayo and French fries. Options include grilled Cuban steak; roast pork with grilled onions; grilled marinated chicken breast with guacamole; ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard in brioche.
At weekends, Cuban-style rice dishes — available to share, and starting at £20 for two persons — will include three paellas: vegetarian; chicken (both seasoned with saffron and beer); and seafood, with white wine.
And a boon for this new venue: The renowned Cuban percussionist Orsete Noda — promoter of the Cuban party tribe Sambroso Sambroso, and according to trumpeter Hugh Masekela “so good he should be arrested!” — will program a roster of live music nights featuring a number of London's best Cuban musicians on rotation as well as weekly salsa classes at the venue. (Those events begin on 11 November, this weekend.)