Venues

Havana Grill

Havana Grill
Write a Review
Cost
R150 avg main meal
Ambience
Classic elegance
Food
Seafood, Steak
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R60 (wine) R150(Champagne)

Critic's review

Tracy Gielink

Food
A stalwart on the local dining scene. Don’t ignore starters that have stood the test of time – the deconstructed prawn samoosa; steak tartare; hand cut carpaccio and decadently rich roast marrowbones served with bruschetta and a caper salad. As a grill house, it is unashamedly dedicated to delivering premium quality meat and, to this end, there is an in-house butchery and steaks are aged on the premises. In the quest to provide diners with the ultimate steak, the meat comes in all guises, from fillet on the bone to a grass fed versus grain fed platter … all cooked to perfection. Venison also appears on the menu and seafood is also adeptly prepared. If you are able to face a final course, the crème brûlée is perfection.

Drinks
Wine options start with good value prospects and move through the ranks to pedigree wines from highly regarded estates. There are good by-the-glass options and Champagnes are also represented. Creative cocktails feature, along with a smattering of craft beer.

Service
There is no room for error here. A slick team is pre-emptive and discreet and the high standard is maintained from arrival through to having the perfectly cooked steak delivered with a flourish, and settling the bill.

Ambience
Don’t be deterred by the casino setting of this handsome restaurant. Think Chesterfield couches and dark wooden furnishings. The potential moodiness is balanced with leather chairs, napery and crockery all presented in white. The vast space is cleverly designed to avoid it feeling cavernous.

And…
Inquire about the cigar selection.

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Kate Ziervogel

    The food
    Havana Grill is famous for its 28-day wet-aged free-range grass-fed beef from a farm outside Mooi River in KZN. Portion sizes are really hearty, so go hungry. Aside from the draw card of serious steak, the menu also caters for vegetarians and includes the chef’s best risottos, seafood, chicken and venison. The choices are delightfully eclectic and varied dishes are available so you should have no problem finding something that you like. The food is carefully presented, although sometimes not entirely beautiful. Regulars are kept interested by the numerous off-menu specials. A highlight was the wasabi ice-cream that accompanied the gravadlax.

    The drinks
    There’s a semi-private bar section to enjoy drinks if you’re not sitting down to a meal. The wine list matches the menu in terms of range, with South African wines chosen to complement both the standard menu and the specials. Cocktails and soft drinks are also available.

    The service
    All aspects of service, from booking to paying the bill, were professional and friendly. Our server was genuinely interested in our eating experience and, although not a gourmet expert as such, informative and helpful. The hosts took time to visit each table, which was a nice touch.

    The ambience
    Décor is rustic, with Cuban design elements and white linen to lend smartness. There is a huge sea view and the seating is comfortable if you’re staying for a long meal. Havana Grill has a trendy feel and attracts a vibey crowd – the music was a little on the loud side – even though the servers are quite formal.

    And…
    Havana Grill has its own humidor (a humidity-controlled room used to store, preserve and age cigars) with Cuban cigars and a view through the glass of the meat hung up to mature.
  • Magnificent view of ocean, mahogany furniture and crisp, white tablecloths. Staff go the extra mile. Try slow-cooked lamb shank with creamy mash and veg; aged steak; peri-peri chicken livers; and choc lava pudding. (EO mag 2014)
  • Food
    Unforgettable dining. The Havana Experience, which can feed up to four people, includes 1.5kg of rump, prime rib and fillet with a selection of sauces. Try the creamy wild mushroom risotto or ostrich fillet au poivre, served with Madagascan green peppercorns, cognac and cream sauce.

    Wine
    The wine list provides a variety of local and imported wines.

    Service
    The waiters are friendly, attentive and amazingly quick.

    Ambience
    Elegant, yet comfortable, overlooking the Indian Ocean. It’s ideal for business meetings, family outings, or if you want to host a party in one of their private rooms.

    And...
    If you fancy a real McCoy cigar, this is the place. (SG, October 2012)

User reviews

  • Excellent, will definitely see me again.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • They promise you a fillet on the menu but deliver an inferior cut of meat. Someone is skimming off the top for sure. I asked the waiter if that was a fillet and he wasn't too convinced. I asked the manager and all he could ask was whether my rare steak was tough. I showed him the stringy meat and he simply stated that it was probably the end piece of the fillet. I simply want what I ordered. They have truly lost their standards. Sad but true
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Friendly staff and the food is great too!
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • This restaurant never disappoints! Excellent food, staff and service always offered.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • booked and went there for my anniversary. lovely table and excellent food. service was very good with a surprise dessert at the end. on the house. what a lovely experience. will definitely be back.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Ever since we tried a Havana Grill taster plate at the first Taste of Durban, we have been dying to try them out. They always presented themselves at The Taste as edgy and original and it was with great anticipation that we put them on our list of reviews this month.

    I love Cuban music and with such a colorful history, am interested in the Cuban culture as well. So there I was, all prepped and ready to be educated about Cuban Cuisine. Unfortunately I discovered that Havana Grill doesn’t actually serve authentic Cuban cuisine at all. So all my research into what to expect fell flat when we arrived at the di moda eatery on the upper level of the Suncoast Casino complex in Durban.

    Now don’t get me wrong, Havana Grill may not serve authentic Cuban dishes, but let me tell you that their beef really is pretty good. They pride themselves on using only local South African grain fed super beef, aged for a minimum of 21 days so it’s little wonder that our table ordered only various beef main dishes; mine was particularly impressive: 600g sirloin on the bone, topped with deep fried bone marrow (which seems to be a really trendy addition on Durban menus lately by the way), oxtail marmalade and fresh rocket.

    Inventive flavors there as well as a variety of textures. The only thing I would have preferred is if more of the sinew was removed, but hey, for a hunk of meat standing about 4cm thick on my plate, I’ll put up with a little sinew and under seasoning, particularly since it was done exactly to my taste: bleu.

    The menu can best be described as a modern fusion of South African and international flavors. Prime example would be the specials starter, Gravadlax (traditionally a Scandinavian dish) done the Havana grill way – instead of marinated in Aquavit, it was prepped in beetroot and served with wasabi icecream. How lovely is that?

    The décor at Havana Grill matches their attitude. Neat, up market and marchoso. Slightly rustic island feel in the dining room, with the white bleached wood branch wall paneling mixed with crisp white linen and table settings. Social area at the bar, Cuban Cigar humidor and the famous sterile looking meat cupboard with glass panels that allow you to catch a glimpse of their famous aging meat.

    The music selection was appropriate but perhaps a tad on the loud side, but if you’re into the very vibey feel, then the volume would suite you perfectly.

    The menu, although famous for their beef, also include seafood, poultry, pork, lamb and venison. Prices range from R46 - R701. A word of advice though: come hungry.

    The grill also boasts an extensive Wine List made up of a really nice selection of South African wines. The beverages list includes not only the fully licensed section but soft drinks for those who do not imbibe.

    Service at Havana grill was professional and attentive from our first telephone booking to our request to take a glass of wine onto the balcony outside after our meal. Our server made an effort to make us feel welcome and heard. The team of servers, hosts and managers all pitched in to assist each other which was really such a cool thing to see. Knowledge of the dishes and some preparation information was a little lacking but honestly the fact that everyone at Havana Grill went out of their way to make our evening an enjoyable one more than made up for that.

    So here we go on to our meal journey:

    Fish cakes with a dipping sauce. Filling, tasty and beautifully presented.

    Smoked Salmon with avocado guacamole and salsa from the specials menu. Incredibly tasty, with good highlights thanks to the salsa.

    Gravid lax done with beetroot and served with wasabi ice-cream, fresh rocket and toasted melba style toast. The Salmon had very delicate flavors and when paired with the cheeky wasabi ice-cream, made mad passionate flavour causing the taste buds to go wild.

    Also from their very creative and mouthwatering specials menu: Sirloin on the bone 600g with oxtail marmalade, deep fried marrow and fresh rocket. I loved the presentation. The deep fried marrow was lovely and the oxtail marmalade complimented the steak perfectly. Found the steak itself to be under seasoned all the other steaks at the table were seasoned well.

    Rump with extra mushroom sauce on the side. The quality of the steak is undisputed. Beautiful ingredients and perfectly prepared. The sauce also complimented well.

    The Fillet stuffed with feta and jalapeño may have lost some of it’s “pretty” on the way from the kitchen to our table, but as far as delicious factor goes, all I heard from that side of the table were grunts of delight.

    Risotto rump went down a treat. My guest informs me that his KPI for a good restaurant is their ability to produce good risotto. The thumbs went up on this one. As though there would be doubt!

    Pecan nut bread and butter pudding butterscotch vanilla Ice cream. The desserts were all a tad on the boring side. The bread and butter pudding came across more like a pecan nut muffin, which as a muffin is lovely, but unimpressive as a bread and butter dessert. The presentation was also a tad on the uninspired side. Artists day off perhaps?

    The Espresso mousse was the only dessert that came close to being interesting, but lost that early on too.

    Creme brûlée was crème brûlée, what can I say. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing fabulous about it, nothing to “write home about”. Presentation was nonexistent and I felt a bit like the kitchen had lost interest by the time the desserts were up.

    So what’s the verdict then?

    Havana Grill aims to be all about “Food, Wine, Cigars and Vibe”. I have to hand it to them, they succeed on those points.

    The food is generally good, but there are places where a little more care can be taken in presentation in particular. I’d recommend Havana Grill for the fly, young, hip business types. Probably not the place I’d take my dad unless they had an onsite first aider with a current CPR certificate as the prices are a bit “up there”.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Superb food. We had a triple A rump as opposed to Greenfields beef and the meat was by far the best we had in a long time. My husband and myself are meat fundis and we highly recommend their food. We'll be back!

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • On 21 December 2011, I was planning to have a romantic lunch with my date at Havana Grill (Suncoast Casino, Durban). I have eaten at the restaurant once before, on that occasion I had no problems with the food. My latest experience with the restaurant left me extremely disappointed. Firstly, I had ordered a Moroccan lamb burger. The burger was dry and over-cooked. I was surprised that the chef would have sent a dish like that out to the table. I remained silent on the issue while my date tucked into the Mozambique baby chicken she enjoyed on a previous occasion. However, she alerted me to an extremely disturbing problem with her Mozambique baby chicken - it was under-cooked with a lot of blood oozing from the meat. I had called the waiter over and asked to speak with the manager. He looked blankly at me for a few seconds, so I repeated myself. It seems that restaurants based in a hotels/casinos receiving international visitors that have employees who do not understand English. A “manager” then came over to our table. I explained the problem to him and he offered us something else off the menu. Unfortunately my date was completely put off by the bloody chicken and was no longer hungry and wanted to leave the restaurant. The “manager” said, “Things like this happen sometimes in restaurants”. It must be said that both dishes we ordered were horrible. I’m pretty certain that if we had ordered a replacement meal off the menu that would have come out horrible as well. When I asked the “manager” if I could have the restaurant owner's email address, he handed me a business card with a general enquiries email address of the restaurant. As if the details of my complaint, which occurred during his management hours, would reach the owner if I sent it to this general enquiries email address! On the other hand, perhaps the “manager” doesn’t understand English (it seems to be a recurring theme with employees at this restaurant). I am extremely disappointed with Havana Grill. I will not recommend this restaurant to anyone. Horrible food and poor customer service, and I have a feeling there are a lot of other people out there who feel the same.

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • The worst lunch I've had in a long time! Apparently the chef is incapable of discerning between a medium-rare piece of meat and the extremely overcooked piece of meat that was sent out. It is also apparently deemed appropriate to send out incredibly overcooked, tough chicken, and have the audacity to claim this is dry texture as well as the toughness is expected as the chicken was crumbed. Extremely disappointed.

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • I ate at Havana Grill in December. A mate and myself were in the mood for grilled chicken and were we impressed.I had the spathcock baby chicken with cocunut milk - its one of the best grilled chickens I have ever eaten. The special lango pasta starter I had was also serioulsy good.If you can handle the masses at the casino - this shop really does turn out great fare.Most enjoyable!
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • What a great venue, great view. what superb food and what a well stocked cellar. What lovely people.From the lady at the door to the owners to the managers to the bussers to the friendly but firm waitrons all pulled together nothing was to troublesome for them they made our evening special .What more can I say other than What a pleasant eating out experience repeated as often as is possible .The whole atmosphere was vibey,slick and yet relazed and full of fun. People were smiling and enjoying being there .
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Dress code
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

Write a review

Nearby Restaurants

Featured restaurants

Eatout