Havana November 2018 – Hole In The Wall – Paladar Sushi Sayu

8 Dec

I came upon this Paladar through a YT Video on a Japanese lady, Mrs Sayuri Yoshida, a journalist who arrived in Cuba 2003 to write a book, married a Cuban, got divorced, stayed in Havana and opened a modest room-sized Paladar in 2015 for the neighbourhood in old Havana serving Japanese influenced Cuban food at very moderate prices.

She started selling Japanese Crepes and then, being in the “struggle” as Cubans define their conditions, decided to open the Paladar and became a “Cuentapropista” or Entrepreneur, adding some private rooms ( Casa Particular ) on top of her corner apartment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXYNSOGgAWs

This video made me curious, I noted the address : Aguacate corner of Obrapia and decided to give it a try during my visit after reading another article about it :

https://www.cuballama.com/blog/sushi-sayu-gastronomia-japonesa-la-habana/

I went to Sushi Sayu after a cigar and a Mojata with Javier and S. at nearby Hotel Raquel – Javier being himself in the food business knows a good place when he finds it.

It was an excellent lunch that we had, from rice and pork to rice and fish to even lobster and finished with a Miso soup – all for very modest prices that also Cubans can afford.

If I remember correctly the entire lunch including beverages for us three was something like in the low twenties …. excellent value for money plus being “integrated” in whatever group happens to be there, be it backpackers, locals or tourists like us.

The room has only one table seating six to eight people and some bar-stools lined up around the wall.

As it is only Sayuri cooking in a tiny kitchen it might take 20 minutes for the food to arrive, but the service is really excellent.

I am sure a lot  of people would not consider eating in such a tiny Hole in the wall – but it was a safe, yummy experience that I would repeat anytime.

Nino

3 Responses to “Havana November 2018 – Hole In The Wall – Paladar Sushi Sayu”

  1. Javier 08/12/2018 at 19:07 #

    What a spot! The place is really interesting. Of course the food is not good by global standards of Japanese food, but it’s SO GOOD when you really think what they make of cheap raw materials and the very “special” availability of this materials in Cuba, AND, for those really low prices. I really enjoyed see Cubans coming in the restaurant and ordering Katsu-Don, being sure that if it wasn’t for this very nice and handsome Japanese lady, the vast majority of this people would not ever get a remote taste of this type of Japanese food (more profound and rare in the west world, than Sushi).

    It’s all a bit crazy as well as interesting. If you are a person, a tourist that won’t think about all the particular story behind the place and and are looking forward to eat in a Kyoto Ramen Shop, please don’t go there, you will be disappointed.

    On the other hand, if you enjoy thinking about Cuba a bit more deeply, you will definitely enjoy the experience. Thanks Nino for taking us there!

    J

    • Nino Munoz 09/12/2018 at 16:05 #

      Thank YOU Javier for your additional comments and your expertise !

      I was happy taking you guys there and we had a great time – certainly not the last.

      As you correctly mention : this is a place where I was happy to see “regular” Cubans eat and enjoy. Neighbourhood locals. Good to see.

      Hasta la proxima aventure culinaria !

      Un abrazo

  2. Sushi Kansas City 28/12/2018 at 05:42 #

    I guess I gotta check out that Sushi Sayu!

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