Nothing Compares to Havana – Review

Nothing Compares to Havana – Review

Is the name of the pop up event hosted by Kettner’s in Soho the press release of which I attended last Tuesday. It’s quite an iconic old venue, and claims to have hosted the likes of some seriously cool clientele including Oscar Wilde, Agatha Christie and Bing Crosby.

My sister was waiting for me outside, and peeking through the gold framed glass doors it all looked so smart that we realised her outfit (wife beater and very holy jeans covered in multicoloured paint from work with last years’ trainers) wasn’t going to fit the bill. So we scampered into the toilet of the Coach & Horses across the road and she slipped into my black pleated work trousers, we shoved some lipstick on, tried to rearrange lost strands of hair… and in we went!

We were immediately ushered upstairs past the foyer with the crystal chandeliers and the grand piano and into what I can only describe as a very leather-heavy lounge.

A friendly woman brought us to the bar lined with dozens of Havana Club rum bottles and ordered us a couple of Mojitos… and there we stayed.

They were really delicious: there was no unpleasant-sugary-lumps-at-the-bottom-while-shreds-of-mint-sticks-float-ominously-ontop going on. The ice cubes were whole, as was the mint, the sweetness even and not overpowering. Yum.IMG_2043

Havana Club’s cocktail competition winner was the Jose Marti made with their 3 year old Havana Club Rum, Pastis, cloves, Tio Pepe, lime and sugar. This was fun as it felt fancy and tasted different from any other cocktail I’ve had. My sister ordered another before finishing her first.

My favorite was the simple but perfect Canchancharra – 3 year Havana Club rum, lime and honey syrup. It was mixed especially for the soldiers during the civil war to give them that extra kick before marching back into battle, and it has a name that’s really fun to say!

Things got a little heavier as we moved on to the Seleccion de Maestros: a smooth, dark rum served with a bowl of chocolate teardrops for soothing the throat in between sips. A luxurious combination that I would hotly recommend.

The last drink on the menu was Aguardiente, a poison branded at 75% alcohol and literally translated means “fire water”. If I were Captain Haddock, I may have managed to muster this, but as things are, it tasted more of bleach. The kind that kills you on the spot.

Tasters of Cuban street food were passed around such as Chicharrones (pork scratchings) and Tostones (double fried plantain chips). Some were fairly tasty but it was all a little bland, and eating solely deep fried food with large quantities of rum was a bit of a kick to the stomach.

The Cuban themed menu for the official opening (10th-13th September) sounds a lot more interesting though: Swordfish Ceviche and Mango Mousse with Pina Colada Sorbet. Fun.

I would recommend it for a romantic night out with your other half or simply for the fun of trying something a bit different in an unusual environment, where you are expected to drink a lot of rum!

Tickets cost £18.00 and include two Havana Club drinks plus entertainment. For Tickets visit: visit Billetto

The menu goes at £19.50 for 2 courses or £24.50 for 3 courses.

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