Robaina's plantation

Monday 30 January 2012

EL Aljibe (best chicken in Havana, Cuba)

            I haven't been to EL Aljibe in a couple of years during which I had heard the quality of the food had diminished due to the fact that the chef had left. A few months ago someone had told me he was back and the chicken is the same as before. Since I was staying in Miramar I decided to pay them a visit and either confirm or dispel the rumours.
          The restaurant is very rustic and except for a private room it's open air or what Cubans call a Ranchon. The area is outside but covered with a thatch roof and has a solid floor. It's not particularly pretty but it's comfortable and there's no issue with my cigar smoking. They have a few things other than chicken  but most people, myself included, go for the chicken. The chicken is all you can eat by the way. It's not cheap by Cuban standards 12cuc per order but you will definitely walk away full. Also included in that price is all the side dishes; rice, black beans, salad, plantines and french fries. You can't possibly eat everything including the chicken. Two chicken dinners, one dessert, 3 beer and one coffee, 35.20cuc with the so called 10% tax. I don't consider that too expensive but you can pay a lot less for chicken in Cuba.
         They have an extensive collection of wines but don't have a wine list, or at least they didn't have one on my visit before this one. You go into the wine room or cave and pick out the wines to get the prices. Something else the restaurant has is a quaint little cigar shop with a pretty good selection of cigars. Just in case you forget yours back at the hotel or want to smoke something different than what you have. It even has a little lounge area with a couple of comfortable chairs but the place gets really smokey due to it's size. Prices for cigars are the same across the island so buying them here is not more expensive.
          After all is said and done, I loved it. I would definitely return again and recommend it to anyone who is the area. Would I go if I'm staying in Old Havana?? That's the reason why I haven't been in a while. Include a 10cuc cab ride there and back from Old Havana plus all your tips and that meal for 2 now costs 50cuc. There are a lot of places that offer great food for less than that all within walking distance in Old Havana.

EL Aljibe
Calle 7  e/24 y 26
Miramar, La Habana
tel 07 204-1583 & 07 204-1584

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