Just over 300 miles South of Havana lies Camagüey. Cuba’s third largest city, after Havana and Santiago de Cuba, is known for its maze of winding streets that often even befuddle local taxi drivers. (Rumor has it that Camagüey’s tangle of alleys was created in an effort to confuse pirates who attempted to pillage the city on a fairly regular basis. Today the only pillaging that takes place is in the form of jineteros or hustlers who try to swindle confused tourists out of their Cuban convertible pesos for directions when they get lost.) Camagüey is also home the home of Melangé Grill & Bar, Cuba’s best restaurant and a spot you will be happy to turn your pesos over to.
Throughout Cuba you’ll find no shortage of peso pizzas or local specialties like ropa vieja. What makes Melangé Grill & Bar so enticing is its innovative take on traditional Cuban cuisine. Dishes like fish ceviche are delicate and yet full of flavor.
Each meal begins with a complimentary serving of fresh plantain chips. Unlike other restaurants in Cuba, Melangé spices things up a bit by sprinkling delicious chives on top.
Every meal ought to also begin with Chef Edy’s incredible meat empanadas which are served with a jalapeño dipping sauce.
The homemade croquettes with hot sauce are a close second.
For the main event, the grilled prawns are incredibly tough to beat. The serving size is generous and even the smallest camarone on your plate will be full of flavor.
The asado, or barbecued, chicken with aromatic herbs and vegetables mixed with balsamic is another stand out dish.
BBQ grilled pork ribs and a roasted lamb resting in the juice of carrots, bitter wild orange and rosemary are also in Melangé’s repertoire.
The grilled fish of the day is also a solid bet.
The inside of Melangé’s hip restaurant is lovingly decorated with whimsical touches.
The attention to detail is even evident in Melangé’s menus…
Pepe, the bartender, mixes up fun and flavorful cocktails like passion fruit mojitos…
…and an insane mango daiquiri that could very easily count as dessert for four people.
Three owners, one of whom is a Miami based DJ, opened the restaurant 10 months ago. The musical influence on Melangé is palpable given the bouncy tunes wafting through the speakers and decor spread throughout the dining area.
Given Melangé’s attentive staff, inventive cuisine and fun atmosphere we’re keeping our fingers crossed that this little gem of a restaurant celebrates its one year anniversary in style.
Melangé Grill & Bar
Cisnero 126, esquina San Clemante
Camagüey, Cuba 70100
Hours: Open Every Day From 12:00pm to 12:00am
Phone: +53 5 3070220
Pricing (All in Cuban Covertible Pesos or CUC) – Appetizers 2.00 to 3.00 each, main dishes 5.00 to 10.00 each, dessert around 3.00 and cocktails are approximately 3.00 per drink.