El Aljibe: A Rustic Restaurant in the Centre of Havana
By: Ciro Bianchi Ross Photos: Alejandro Gortázar
To say that El Aljibe is the restaurant with the best chicken in Cuba is only half the story. Ever since its opening in 1993, El Aljibe has not only offered chicken in all its variations but they also offer outstanding red meat, fish and seafood dishes. El Aljibe surpasses the expectations of its most demanding customer.
>The restaurant's specialty, which also happens to be its most popular dish, is both exclusive and unique: roast chicken bearing the name of the restaurant.
This dish is marinated with a mixture of orange juice and garlic but the exact combination is a secret as well as the actual cooking process. This is a family recipe created at the original Finca EI Aljibe restaurant that delighted visitors in the 1940s. The recipe seemed lost in time but reappeared at the new restaurant in Miramar, Havana, managed by the same family. The chicken is roasted brown on the outside but juicy and soft inside. It is useless to ask for the details of the recipe in question. The chef, Ignacio Milián, will not say a word about it, just that the chicken's exquisite taste comes from the special marinade and the traditional manner in which it is prepared.
As with all the main courses at the restaurant, the roast chicken is accompanied by white rice, a thick black bean stew, fries, fried plantains, and salad.
>Back in time, people used to order a similar dish called "la completa" in traditional Cuban fondas or inns, Now at EI Aljibe, for a set price, you can repeat as many of the dishes as you want. You will be surprised by the very reasonable prices at this restaurant where the best costs less, It is a family restaurant with excellent and efficient service and all its customers are given cordial treatment. Other specialties of the restaurant are quick-fry steaks, deep fried cubes of pork, steak brochettes, and ground beef cooked Cuban style, They also have a soothing soup made from Grandma's recipe and rice with chicken cooked in a traditional clay casserole.
The restaurant also has an extensive wine cellar with knowledgeable sommeliers who can recommend some very interesting wines.
EI Aljibe offers a broad scope of Cuban cuisine at their charming and rustic establishment set in the middle of Miramar, the neighborhood of embassies and foreign offices in the Cuban capital.