Robaina's plantation

Wednesday 30 January 2019

Tabarish (Havana Restaurant) It Has Finally Re-opened

              In 2016 I visited this restaurant when it was on Calle 20 y 5ta in Miramar....but I didn't have a chance to eat a meal there. I thought that when I returned to Cuba that I would go back there and have a bowl of borscht that I had seen on their menu. However, when I returned several months later, the restaurant had shut down. I was pleasantly surprised to find it re-opened 2 years later in Old Havana and of course I wasn't going to miss this opportunity to grab a meal there. Tovarishch, tovarisch or tovarish (Russian: Товарищ) is a Russian word meaning comrade, friend, colleague, or ally. The 'V' in Cuban is pronounced as a 'B', hence the spelling.
               I walked by the restaurant at least once or twice during one of my walks without realizing it was there, the signage isn't overly visible. It wasn't until I leafed through an advertisement that I noticed 'Tabarish' had opened up again but this time in Old Havana. So I decided to come here with my wife one afternoon after doing some chores. The decor, with it's touch of Russia scattered around the place, isn't near how overtly garish it was in it's previous location which had Russian newspapers & posters in various spots as well as the flag and colours. The new location looks a little more like an international restaurant if you don't look too closely. There are two levels, the upstairs was empty during our visit,  the main level downstairs, wasn't too busy but it was 3 in the afternoon. The restaurant is located on a prominent corner of the old city opening onto the street. The area has seen some renovations recently making it more accessible to tourists. A sightseer's comfort zone has expanded through the years.
              The menu is reminiscent of a Denny's in North America, lots of pictures, I like it. A mix of Russian, International and Cuban dishes makes this place palatable to everyone. I had my Borscht to start, looked exactly as it should and was served with a side of sour cream....that was a surprise. It tasted as it should but the meat was a little hard....that was no surprise. I would have it again. I finished with the Pork Ribs, one of the best I've had in the city for my taste. My wife started with the Cream of Pumpkin soup which she claimed was the best she's ever had....she's a very picky person. Her main course was the Fish of The Day, Pargo Filet on the grill. She thought it was ok as did I but I wasn't crazy about the piece they gave her. With 2 beers and 2 soft drinks the total came out to $37.55 before gratuity....not bad. The service was pleasant but not the most professional, a young lady who didn't pay a great deal of attention to the 2 tables she had. I will definitely return and probably have the Borscht again....let's hope the place is still there when I come back.

Calle O'Reilly #465 e/ Villegas y Aguacate,
Habana Vieja,
(+53) 7801 4009
Open: 11am - 12midnight
Cash Only

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