With a farmer, who works most weekends, for a husband, we don’t often find the time to go out for a decent meal but after sampling the dishes on offer at the Taste of Durban festival a few weeks back and really enjoying the wasabi calamari that Little Havana served, we were eager to see what else they had on the menu.
We made the 45 minute drive from Stanger to Umhlanga on Friday evening, stopping first at Gateway Theatre of Shopping to watch a movie and after that made our way to Granada Square at 16 Chartwell Drive for our dinner reservation at Little Havana.
The restaurant has the benefit of indoor-outdoor dining with a large wooden deck providing the outdoor aspect of things. Our table was out on the deck and although the evening was a bit nippy with a slight breeze blowing, the roll down blinds, gas heaters and blankets provided made short work of the cold. The Cuban décor lends itself to the name of the restaurant and I loved the T-shirts emblazoned with the image of Che Guevara that made up part of the uniform for the waiting staff.
The menu gives a good selection with a choice of 14 starters, six salads, four vegetarian dishes and a range of beef, pork, lamb, chicken or venison dishes for a main course. I really wanted to try the wasabi calamari starter that we had had at Taste of Durban again but made the wrong decision by ordering the dish grilled instead of deep fried – it wasn’t quite the same.
However, it was still delicious and the portion was more than enough. My husband was over the moon at finding roasted marrow bones on the menu and ordered that without a second thought! Served with bruschetta and a parsley and caper salad he was a very happy man! The starters range from R44 for the marrow bones to R65 for a deconstructed prawn samoosa.
We both chose steak for a main course; a 200g fillet for my and a 200g rib eye for my husband. The main courses are served with a choice of either shoe string fries, mash, rice or baked potato and because we like the best of both worlds, one of us had fries and the other mash.
Other accompaniments for the main courses are onion rings, creamed spinach, sautéed mushrooms, roast butternut, Mediterranean vegetables, risotto or a salad. These range in price from R15 for onion rings to R35 for a Greek salad. A gentleman sitting at a table behind us had a bowl of onion rings and with some of them roughly the same diameter as a tennis ball we thought they looked too good to pass up! We also ordered a dish of creamed spinach.
Little Havana has an in-house butchery and serve only free-range, hormone-free meats … our steak was aged to perfection and their man behind the grill deserves a medal – top class! I do like red meat but have found that I prefer a smaller amount; the 200g portion is just right for me. The side orders of fries and mash were enormous and we only ate half of each bowl. The onion rings were an absolute hit, as was the creamed spinach.
With very full bellies we declined the dessert menu but the manageress assured us that their hot chocolate fondant was always a good seller. The pecan nut bread and butter pudding also sounded interesting – next time perhaps!
Address and contact details:
Little Havana can be found at Granada Square, 16 Chartwell Drive, Umhlanga.
The phone number is +27 (0)31 561-7589.
Little Havana are open seven days a week.
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Little Havana and with the full restaurant and people waiting for tables, it appears that it is a popular spot in Umhlanga. I’m sure the excellent service, lovely décor and beautifully laid tables all add to the mix. I will definitely be back to try something else on the menu.
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