The name of this private restaurant in Old Havana may evoke the delicious distillates produced on the island. Or maybe the sound of an old American car engine starting. But rum rum is also Cuban slang for gossip, and this excellent eatery on one of Havana’s oldest streets, a block away from the famous Hemingway haunt La Bodeguita del Medio, is a perfect setting for rum rum! It has several different dining areas: the room closest to the entrance resembles a Spanish tavern, with wine and rum barrels hanging from the walls and serving as bar shelves. Another more private area is decorated with Cuban paintings, and there is a small interior courtyard where you can also enjoy a cigar.
El Rum Rum is owned and run by Osiris Oramas, former manager of El Template and La Barca. He’s also a cigar sommelier, and a two-time champion of the prestigious Habano Sommelier Blind Tasting competition. His brother Osmar rules in the kitchen, where artfulness and a love of good food come together in tasty and attractive plates that you’ll adore. This duo, and their dynamic, ready-to-pamper team, present you with an exquisite and eclectic selection of dishes ranging from a hearty Cuban ajiaco to a delicate fish filet dressed with a green sauce, with shrimp and clams. Seafood is an essential component of Cuban gastronomy and it gets top billing here. Our choice? Black rice cooked in sepia ink and studded with fish, octopus, lobster, and mussels. A great wine pairing is the reasonably priced Milmanda Chardonay, from Bodegas Torres, a leader on many Cuban wine lists. Rum Rum’s list is good, with a range of choices from Spain, France, Italy, Chile and Australia. Beef lovers will find the classic Ropa Vieja especially nice here–presented with the traditional rice and fried ripe plantain accompaniments. Complementing the great food and drink is live music played each evening by a friendly trio.
Address: 256 Empedrado, Old Havana.
Tel: (+53) 7861 0806
Opening hours: 12 to 12 pm