Havana Chino Latino is a massive restaurant/bar/lounge on popular eating and drinking street Donghu Lu. Food is “chino latino” aka Latin American with an Asian twist.
The Space & The Concept
All-in-one concepts are the trend. There isn’t a term for a resto-bar-lounge-club-KTV yet, but just like “gastrolounge”, I’m sure there will be a denomination soon. All the above is what Havana is servicing.
It’s a massive space spread across two floors—5th and 6th. The 5th floor has two bars and so very much dining and lounge seating. There’s even a mezzanine that overlooks one of the bars.
The 6th floor is for private events, which is home to a private room, kitted with the best KTV system money can buy. A party came through the night before I visited. They dropped 100k.
Havana Chino Latino is first and foremost a bar. And as you can imagine, it serves a lot of cocktails made with Havana Club Rum. Cocktails start from ¥58 (lower than average) and go up to ¥88 (average price for cocktails in Shanghai). And of course you can buy premium Havana Club by the bottle.
The Food at Havana Chino Latino
Food is a mix of Chinese/Asian and Latin American influences.
You won’t find “authentic” Latin American fare, as most of the dishes are tailored for the local market. One example is the Tuna and Prawn Ceviche (¥98). I like ceviche like most Peruvians do—so sour it makes my salivary glands ache, and spicy. This ceviche is very mild, and the reason is simple—the super sour-spicy version does not jive with most people.
But if there’s one dish that shines above all others, it’s the Abuela’s Slow-Cooked Duck Leg in Seco Sauce (¥128). It’s a serving of bone-tender dark meat rich with spices, peppers, shallots, and cilantro. The whole duck leg is served over beer-infused rice.
Chino-Latino cuisine makes Havana stand out, but people aren’t exactly looking for it. However, the food is enjoyable and is well-priced. (Havana has to also educate people about the obscure cuisine. But if they can get groups to drop 100k on food and booze at the KTV room, it doesn’t really matter.)
I can’t speak about the drinks—didn’t have any.
If there is one thing to be cautious about, it’s the size of the space. The lack of atmosphere in such a large room would impact the vibe. If they can keep it lively, that would be enough a draw for the lounge goers.
Favorite dishes: Duck, cod, fried rice, noodles.
Havana Chino Latino
Address: 5/F, 20 Donghu Lu, near Huaihai Zhong Lu 东湖路20号5楼, 近淮海中路