El Rum Rum de la Habana in Havana, Cuba

El Rum Rum de la Habana in Havana, Cuba
The colorful façade of El Rum Rum de la Habana in Havana, Cuba

El Rum Rum de la Habana is a typical Cuban restaurant and paladar located in the heart of La Habana Vieja, Havana’s old town.

Managed by owner Osiris Oramas Oliver, El Rum Rum has become popular for its extensive menu featuring meat dishes, seafood, pasta, cocktails, and more.

You might be wondering what a paladar is. A paladar in Cuba refers to a family-operated eatery that offers traditional local dishes.

While prohibited until the 1990s, these privately owned establishments have become popular dining choices. And they stand as an alternative to state-run restaurants.

I didn’t know much about El Rum Rum before my visit.

As I enjoy rum cocktails and Cuban food, and with their central location near many of Havana’s best sights, I thought I would give the restaurant a try.

Interior of El Rum Rum de la Habana

Interior of the restaurant
Interior of the restaurant

Being a paladar, I found El Rum Rum de la Habana’s interior quintessential Havana. The space was bright and airy, with white walls, tall ceilings, and large windows.

When I stepped inside, I felt like I was dining in someone’s home. While the restaurant’s décor was busy, everything came together nicely.

With rum in its name, the restaurant featured a nautical theme, complete with blue walls and tablecloths, pirate ships, rum bottles, and barrels on the walls.

The dining room was cozy and intimate, featuring a small open area at the front. From this space, a narrow passage with more tables led to the back of the restaurant.

El Rum Rum de la Habana Menu

I usually post photos of the menu here, but the menu at El Rum Rum de la Habana was just too extensive to do that. I will describe the menu in words.

The menu was similar to other menus in Havana. You had appetizers, salads, soups, chef specials, pasta dishes, seafood, meat dishes, and desserts.

As for drinks, you had local beers, cocktails, and an assortment of liquors, including rum and whiskey.

Sautéed Chicken with Pineapple in Turmeric and Ginger

Pollo Salteado con Piña en Aroma de Cúrcuma y Jengibre, El Rum Rum de la Habana in Havana, Cuba
Pollo Salteado con Piña en Aroma de Cúrcuma y Jengibre

First up was the Sautéed Chicken with Pineapple in Turmeric and Ginger (2000 CUP or about $12.91). The menu listed it as Pollo Salteado con Piña en Aroma de Cúrcuma y Jengibre.

Though relatively expensive compared to other restaurants in Havana, the portion size was quite large. And while simple, the dish looked beautifully plated.

My favorite part was the large chunks of chicken. Dark meat ensured the chicken was juicy, moist, and tender throughout. Additionally, being grilled gave the meat an added layer of texture and smoky flavor.

Mixed in with the chicken was an assortment of ingredients. The onions and bell peppers added a hint of sweetness and a crunchy yet tender bite.

The pineapple, common in dishes in Cuba, was sautéed, resulting in a softer texture and less sweet and acidic flavor. I enjoyed the pop of flavor and texture from the pineapple.

Carrots and yams both added a hint of sweetness and additional texture.

Bringing the dish together was turmeric and ginger, which added an aromatic curry-like flavor to each bite.

While simple, this dish was hearty and delicious.

Fish in Soy Sauce, Ginger, and Peppers

Pescado en Salsa de Soja Pimiento y Jengibre, El Rum Rum de la Habana, Havana, Cuba
Pescado en Salsa de Soja Pimiento y Jengibre

Since they were well known for their seafood, I needed to try a seafood dish before leaving.

Therefore, I ordered the Fish in Soy Sauce, Ginger, and Peppers (2400 CUP or about $15.49). The menu listed this as Pescado en Salsa de Soja Pimiento y Jengibre.

This dish was very similar to the chicken dish in appearance and taste. While the plate seemed small, the portion was deceivingly large. As with the first plate, you had a protein and a mixture of vegetables.

I found the fish simple but cooked well. I am unsure what type of fish, but it was moist with a distinct soy sauce flavor that added a salty, umami flavor.

Mixed in with the fish was a variety of vegetables and sesame seeds, which added a crunchy texture.

The ginger was aromatic, while the green peppers added a fresh component and a crunchy yet tender texture.

Sautéed onions, tender carrots, and cabbage added even more texture and flavor.

In the end, I found this dish also to be hearty, delicious, and beautifully plated.

Service at El Rum Rum de la Habana

The El Rum Rum de la Habana service was attentive, though the restaurant was relatively quiet on a Sunday afternoon.

When I arrived at the restaurant, a server sat me at a table and gave me her recommendations. While these items may have been her personal favorites, the high prices of these items caused me to chuckle.

She only suggested the most expensive items, which were already more expensive than other restaurants in the area. But this was no big deal as I ordered something else.

Other than that, my food arrived quickly and correctly. My server was around when needed and left me alone to eat when I did not need anything. She always seemed to be nearby if I needed anything.

And, like most places in Havana, included on the bill was a 10% service charge.

Conclusion

Regarding its food quality, service, and ambiance, I enjoyed visiting El Rum Rum de la Habana.

It was a beautiful restaurant in a great location, the staff was friendly, and the food, while not my favorite in Havana, was fresh and flavorful.

However, when considering the prices compared to nearby restaurants, I would not return.

While the prices were low, relatively speaking, there are many other restaurants in Havana with better food for half the price.

Pros

  • Fresh and flavorful dishes
  • Friendly service
  • Beautiful interior

Cons

  • Expensive

Hours

Monday - Sunday: 9:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Address

Calle Empedrado #256, Havana, Cuba
GPS Coordinates: 23.14059,-82.35328

Map



Last Updated on April 29, 2024

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Anthony
My name is Anthony and I am addicted to traveling all around the world experiencing new people, cultures, and foods. These are some of my stories.