On Santi, the mystical Santi. The one that can never speak its name. The one that everyone talks about but no one can find. The one you may be asked to park a few blocks away from and sneak in under cover of darkness. Oh Santi. If Cuba has one world-class restaurant this is it. This is the one place that you could transplant anywhere in the world and it would hold its own. It is Cuban but does not depend on Cuba; it is from and of Cuba but does not rely on gimmicks. This is the real deal!
Santy’s is a sushi restaurant located in Jaimanitas on the Western outskirts of Havana just shy of Marina Hemingway. It is located in a clapboard single story wooden house next to, in fact, right on one of the outlets to the sea. Perhaps it is a floating houseboat so integral it is to the boats parked up alongside outside on the ample terrace. Perhaps, although I’m not quite sure.
The large outdoor terrace is all wood; there is space for maybe 40 people on simple plastic chairs and tables. This seems a world away from the hustle of Havana, the feng-shui of the water and the boats ambling out to sea take you away onto the sea, into another place.
The service is efficient, competent. This is not a place where you are fussed over, where you can preen and take the VIP table. That is not the style, there are no uniforms for the waitresses, and have a nice day. Fast, Cuban, real.
And the food is simply spectacular. From the start to the end and everything in between. You may prefer the baby lobster to the shrimp to the sushi to the beef to the chicken to the salmon but let’s face it, all is fabulous. It is best simply to have two of everything, sit back, enjoy and be assured that you just had the best meal in Cuba for actually a very reasonable price. We recommend the place!