The Shortlist

Café Habana, Souk Al Bahar
Nominated for Best Latin American
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This rather cosy and deliciously dingy Cuban-Mexican restaurant in Souk Al Bahar has a masculine feel; there’s the scent of smoke in the air, mosaic tiling on the floor and simple wooden framed chairs and tables. Pieces of art are scattered on the walls, but it’s the menu we’re most taken with. Blackened corn on the cob comes charcoal-grilled and rolled in mayonnaise, parmesan and Tabasco sauce, the kernels bursting in your mouth as you bite into them. The grilled chicken wings are equally moreish and come served with blue cheese sauce and sticks of celery. For a slice of history, try the traditional Cuban sandwich filled with mayonnaise, corned beef, pastrami, pickles and mustard sandwiched between thick bread. They were served to the Cuban immigrant communities of Florida back in the day. The accompanying fries, however, are somewhat disappointing, but the chicken quesadillas prove quite filling and stacked with vegetables and cheese.
Open Sat-Wed noon-1am, Thu-Fri noon-2am. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 422 2620).


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