Set above the buzzing Granada Square in Umhlanga, Little Havana offers patrons an elegant indoor-outdoor dining experience. The emphasis is on world-class food matched to top local wines.
The food offering includes everything from seafood to enticing vegetarian dishes, poultry and red meat, including venison.
Start with deconstructed prawn samoosas that speak to Durban’s cultural heritage; duck spring rolls with orange-balsamic dipping sauce; or smoked springbok carpaccio served with the Vietnamese nuoc cham dressing, rocket, red chilli and lime-coriander aioli.
More exploratory taste sensations are the wood-fired trio of snails or the oft-ignored but mouth-wateringly rich roasted marrow bones.
Fresh line fish can be served simply grilled with lemon butter, char-grilled or with coconut and lime, while the opulently flavoured seafood curry with ginger-and-cumin basmati rice is a worthy honour to another Durban favourite.
However, it is the perfectly executed steaks for which owner Martin Lombaard is renowned. The in-house butchery processes and ages the restaurant’s free-range hormone-free meats. Virtually all Little Havana’s beef is wet-aged with the exception of the dry-aged T-bone and fillet on the bone. Steaks are seasoned with Maldon salt, black pepper, thyme and mustard seeds, and served with a choice of shoestring fries, baked potato, mashed potato or basmati rice.
The selected free-range grass-fed beef embodies a field-to-fork traceability and the in-house block man prepares perfect cuts.
The results are succulent steaks barely requiring a knife that take centre stage on the plate and the experience.
Little Havana also has a specialities menu from which patrons can compare grain-fed versus free-range grass-fed rump steaks and enjoy bone-in fillet with mash, wilted spinach and sauce of red wine and pearl onion, risotto rump with mushroom-and-herb risotto or an entrecote béarnaise sirloin with herb salad and fries.
The premier wine list offers a balanced cross-section of South Africa’s award-winning industry. There is also a sound selection of wines by the glass, and a temperature controlled cellar with even more wines not represented on the list.
Professional, efficient and understated service.
Speaking to its Cuban connections, Little Havana’s décor and ambience are chic without being overbearing. The warm copper and glass décor and the inviting leather seating sub-dividing the large room ensures elegance for any occasion, from romantic dinners to business lunches.
Patrons are invited to enter the feature wine cellar and explore.
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