Robaina's plantation

Tuesday 30 May 2017

Al Carbon (Restaurant) Havana ...a return visit

                   I understand that I'm posting these comments not long after a current one talking about the same place. The reason is that I returned to have a complete meal here just two months afterwards and enjoyed it so much I had to let you know sooner rather than later. If you recall I was on a mission to cram as many eateries into a short period of time and realize now that Al Carbon was much better than I had thought. A friend suggested I try the Suckling Pig next time, claiming it was the best thing on the menu. If you're health conscious I suggest you don't ask how it's cooked. They do, what amounts to deep-frying the piece of meat before roasting it over charcoal. I know it's a heart attack on a plate, especially the crispy skin, but how often do you eat something like this. I dove into it and it was absolutely delectable with my side of arroz congri which itself had noticeable chunks of pork. This dish is definitely not for the weak of heart. As a starter I had something equally as heavy, Blue Cheese and Chorizo Fondue, basically a Blue Cheese Soup with pieces of roasted Portuguese sausage thrown in. It wasn't what I expected but in a way it simplified things. The cheese was a little more liquidy than what I would expect from a fondue but it made it less complicated to eat. The piece of toasted baguette that came with the appetizer soaked up the liquid nicely. My wife on the other-hand had the Cream of Pumpkin Soup without the Blue Cheese but they omitted the Serrano Ham as well...she opted not to send it back as she was perfectly satisfied saying it was the best she'd ever had. As for her main course, she went with an old school dish, Arroz con Pollo a la Chorrera (Yellow Rice with Chicken). Yellow rice with chicken might sound a little mundane to us foreigners but myself coming from a background that puts a great deal of emphasis on their culinary culture, 'Arroz con Pollo a la Chorrera' is a dish that would or would have been cooked by one's mother or grandmother, in this case during better times. The dish was much more than it's content and she wasn't overwhelmed with it but enjoyed both the presentation and flavour....nothing can beat your mothers cooking. We had our dessert somewhere else. I know this became one of my wife's favorite places, since she asked to come back a couple of days later. The wine list is scattered and prices can be a little staggering in some cases or overpriced in others. There weren't many wines that were reasonable....cheapest was $34 and 4 in total, under $40, out of 17 reds, look closely at the wine list I posted. The wine we had was $47cuc and 7.30 Euros in Spain, that's a huge markup. What made everything better was the best service we've had anywhere in Cuba by our server Jennifer, she was spot on and excelled beyond her young age. Needless to say, this has become one of our go-to spots. We were going to try their original restaurant which is located on the upper level, 'Ivan Chef Justo', but it was closed for renovations.

Al Carbon
Calle Aguacate No. 9 Esq./ Chacon
Habana Vieja, La Habana
53 7863 9697


Blue Cheese Chorizo Fondue 

Pumpkin Soup

Arroz con Pollo a la Chorrera (Yellow Rice with Chicken)

Suckling Pig

Arroz Congi

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Matt.... Congrats on you new marriage brother 🎉🎊🎂