Sunday, 24 April 2011

Havana less than my heaven

Ok. It's taken me a week to get around to this. KitchenSlut has been so slack on posts in the last year but was out with a group at the Havana Music Cafe on Lake St a week or so ago, a Friday night. Now, it's not easy when a place provides something much needed in Cairns, both in diversity of tropical cuisine and entertainment, but just didn't quite meet my expectations.

Havana is worthwhile and the casual open format to the street welcome  but ...  the 'Trinni' (?) prawn curry dish I ordered, in a rich coconut and yoghurt gravy w jasmine rice and salsa, was absent 'oomph'.  No, not just heat, but depth of flavour. The jasmine rice was dry and just needed to be better for something so simple. The Caribbean authenticity of the description as a Trini(dad) may also be debatable?

That is not to say they dont try, and KS was later engaged in discussion at the bar by the waitress on the 'oomphness' of the prawn curry. At least they are thinking! Maybe I just ordered the wrong food as everybody else on the table thought theirs was great? It certainly didn't match my previous most memorable Caribbean cuisine experience at Mr Jerk in London, but thats not what it's all about. It is a welcome ambience to the Cairns scene and the young guitar vocalist on the night, Adam Hynes, was excellent. Made the night!

It was reasonably busy on a Friday night with a few large tables and the service seemed rushed at times. While there a diner at a footpath table made a vocal intervention to staff at the bar requesting service.
It would be really good for Havana to thrive and stay alive, but next time I would like the food to just offer more to the experience. Given most feedback on Havana is positive I should go back and try it again soon and sample more widely from the menu.

1 comment:

youtube said...

I've been there a few times, with family and friends, my experience has been nothing but positive.

The owner, Brett, is the kind of host every restaurant needs, attentive, cheerful, and good company.

The food has always been excellent, the bar has a great selection and good prices.

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