Robaina's plantation

Thursday 6 July 2017

El Cocinero (Restaurant) Havana

                  I finally made it into this place after trying several times and finding it closed for one reason or another. People I know that have been here say this is a must try and I'm glad I was finally able to give it a shot. It's located next to the "Fabrica de Arte" which is in the old cooking oil factory near the puente de hierro (El Cocinero), hence the name. I didn't realize when I was there, that there were 4 different sections to this restaurant; Indoor, upper lounge, the patio we sat on and another one that I didn't see at that time. The design of the patio is modern and it's set-up more like a lounge than an eatery, the chairs are more suited to a patio than a restaurant, now I realize that the other patio is more for dining. I imagine (and I've been told) that this place is hopping at night, we were there for lunch and only one of 4 occupied tables at that time. The service was pleasant, young girls dressed in street clothes, and the food was quite good and not overpriced. The wine list was limited but I was able to find something reasonable. The food menu was more centered around appetizers and even the main courses could almost be classified as such...shish kabob, grilled sausage and what I had which was the Tuna Tataki was cut into pieces and could have been classified as an appetizer (I had it as my appetizer) rather than a main course in my opinion. However, this may be the patio menu only, I'll have to give you a better explanation after a return visit. The presentation was good but I don't think I'll be having the raw Tuna again, it wasn't quite what I was used to (my fault for trying), it looked a little old to me. The fried malanga fritters we had to start were perfect. My fiance had one of their salads topped with chicken and enjoyed it and I had the arucola topped with lots of cheese which I equally enjoyed, both of which were our main was a super hot day, eating anything heavier like the ribs would not have been wise.
                    We enjoyed the place, I would come back but next time want to see it when it has a little more atmosphere, at night...and try the ribs if it's not too hot. Lunch for 2 with a $35 bottle of wine and $8 in beverages was $78.90 with 10% gratuity (added) under $30.

PS......(cigar) smoking is allowed on the patio. Indoor, non-smoking, air-conditioned area available. There's also a Terraza-Jardin area that I wasn't aware of and will have to return to see appears to be a patio but with adequate chairs.

Opening hours noon to 2am

Restaurant El Cocinero
Calle 26 # 57 e/11 y 13 Vedado
La Habana (Cuba)
Telefono:(+53)58420160,(+53)7 8322355

upper lounge area

upper level

upper level bar

Frittura de Malanga $2 (we ate a couple by the time I took the picture)

Chicken Salad $6

Arucola Salad $8

Tuna Tataki $10

Restaurant Entrance