Robaina's plantation

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

D'Next (Restaurant) Havana Oct.2019

            This has become a go-to restaurant when I'm in Old Havana looking for a light meal. I won't go out of my way to come here, as there may be many other restaurants along the way, but I've walked a few blocks to come to eat at this place on more than one occasion.
            Sandwiches, Pastas, Tapas are what this place is all about but my favourite dish and what I order most times is the Pizza. Paper thin, nice and light and tasty, I can almost get through the entire thing. Reasonably priced, excellent air-conditioning, casual, diner type atmosphere with surprisingly good service. Our waitress remained vigilant, standing not too far away from our table ready to attend to any of her customer's needs....something you don't see to often in Cuban restaurants. Another thing they do really well are the milkshakes and, what I discovered on my latest visit, the daiquiris (check out the Papaya Daiquiri in the picture below). We were 2 adults and 2 children, with drinks and gratuity, it came out to under 40cuc.
            Located on Calle Teniente Rey a just few meters from Monserrate, it's close to many attractions in Old havana...near the Capitolio and El Floridita. So if you're in the area check it out for a light meal. They even do breakfast but I have yet to try it. Only drawback, no smoking allowed inside this restaurant.

Calle Teniente Rey # 512
e/ Monserrate y Bernaza,
Habana Vieja, Havana
Phone (+53) 7860 5519

Papaya Daiquiri  $4.50

Milkshake  $2.90

Hawaiian Pizza  $6.00

Pizza with Onions  $4.30

Spaghetti in Tomato Sauce topped with ham  $5.40

Jardin Japones (Havana) left to ruin

                 You may think that this is the one that's within the Jardín Botánico Nacional just outside's not. This Jardin Japones is located next to the Torreón de La Chorrera, at the mouth of the Almendares River where the Malecon ends. The garden sits behind the restaurant “1830” which was once the residence of Carlos Miguel de Céspedes Ortiz, a lawyer and Cuban politician. The garden was designed to be the courtyard of the mansion. The building dates back to the 19th century when it began as the Arana Restaurant to be followed by a hotel, the "Hotel La Mar". It wasn't until the beginning of the 20th century that it was rebuilt as the mansion of Carlos Miguel de Céspedes. Carlos Miguel named the house "Villa Miramar".
                Carlos Miguel was born in Cárdenas, in the province of Matanzas & was a personal friend of President Machado. He was committed to his regime & fled the country after his fall. His house was ransacked and destroyed, but when he returns in 1937, he rebuilds it & lives there until his death.
               "Villa Miramar" was famous for its beauty and its privileged location facing the sea. The outer areas are joined by a small cliff of stones and marine snails to a Japanese island called "Koisima", which in Japanese means "island of love", which reproduces a Japanese garden with a multitude of caves, terraces, bridges and roads, all between trees and exotic plants. The dome of the roundabout is beautiful, it was made with pieces brought from India a piece at a time (under repair during my visit). He also had a pier for his yacht "Miramar" and his race boat "Cuba", which had won several competitions. During the 50's the property was bought by José Curráis Fernández, owner of "La Zaragozana", a famous Havana bar-restaurant specializing in seafood. It was the Curráis family that restored the building and installed the “Restaurant 1830”. It was inaugurated in 1954.
                 Unfortunately there isn't much left of the garden and I was warned to be careful when I ventured over, it isn't really open to the public. You can only imagine how wonderful it all must have looked so many years ago.

Bar-Restaurante 1830
corner of Malecón (No.1252) & Calle 20
Vedado, Havana