The Cuban Place
Directly across from the Queen Victoria Building, in a beautifully renovated heritage listed building, is La Bodeguita del Medio, a recreation of the original Havana hangout made famous by Ernest Hemingway. With raw brickwork, dark timber features and framed photographs of Cuba, the interior is as vibrant as the atmosphere.
The multi-level space also features a basement bar with a live jazz band, a unique display of rum barrels and Hemingway’s famous quote “My mojito in La Bodeguita” scrawled across the wall. Although it is unclear who popularised the mojito, the buzzing after work bar crowd assures us that it is still the cocktail of choice, at $12 apiece.
Take the left entrance of the building for the Cuban-influenced restaurant and peruse the leather bound menu. Don’t skip past the starters; we recommend the Panceta de Cerdo, a plump piece of roasted pork belly with diced watermelon and white balsamic foam. Dessert is innovative and artistic, especially the Café y Caramelo, a Mocha dome with candied peanuts and salted caramel ice cream.