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“Not Chinese Food, just Chinese decorations”
Review of Flor de Loto

Flor de Loto
Ranked #88 of 783 Restaurants in Havana
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, Special occasions, Families with children, Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Not Chinese Food, just Chinese decorations”
Reviewed May 14, 2012

Have to say I am perplexed to read good reviews for this restaurant, which had also led us to Flor de Loto. Even in Lonely Planet it says "best chinese food in Cuba". We left thinking this was not just the worst "Chinese" food we've ever had, it was probably the worst FOOD we've had!

This is NOT authentic Chinese food in any way, unless you'd consider Spaghetti as an alternative to Chow Mein. They serve the meals with chips/crisps and deep-fry everything. We were sitting by the kitchen and saw the chefs drop every kinds of meats and seafood into a deep-frier before putting it on the grill. Why? This destroyed even the lobster that we ordered.

Other than the horrendous meal they call Chinese food, the service was good and the restaurant was nice. Very crowded with throngs of people waiting outside for a table as promised.

However, I found the whole concept of having a Chinatown in Havana without a single Chinese person in sight to be baffling. The streets are decorated with red lanterns and impressive gates, complete with Chinese road-signs. But look around and I was probably the only Chinese.

If you want Chinese food, Cuba is not the place for it. If you want a Cuban experience, there are many other truly good restaurants in town. You just have to look a little harder to find them.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
4 Thank WinKz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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294 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
150 reviews
80 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“super good food and atmosphere”
Reviewed February 21, 2012

really enjoyed the meal here - was a lunch time - very buzy - music - lots of cubans - great starters (fried dumplings) excellent prawn rice - flavourful food - well rpesented - large portions - excellent service

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Travelleralways2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quebec City, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Something different and unexpected”
Reviewed January 27, 2012

First of all let's clarify one point: the Flor de Loto is not in the Chinese district per say. It is in the general area, but the real chinese district, that is the few streets filled with chinese restaurants side by side, and people dressed in colorful silk standing in the entrance to invite you in, that "real" chinese district is a good 15 minutes by foot to the east. After you leave this touristy area and you start your way west on Salud street, it will certainly cross your mind that there has been a mistake somewhere! You are now on a very narrow, dark and dirty street, full of holes and garbage, with humble Cubans passing the time sitting on their doorsteps. Don't worry it is still safe; noboby will attack you in Cuba.

Nevertheless it is rather "destabilizing" for the common visitor: there is just no way they would have placed a first rate restaurant in such a squalid environment! But, keep the faith and you will eventually see, ahead of you, to the left, a green canopy sticking out with a bunch of people standing under and aroud it. You have reached the Flor de Loto!
That is precisely what I mean by "unexpected"!

The thing is that this restaurant was probably not intended for tourists in the first place but for the well off Cubans (yes there are quite a few of those in Havana...) Inside you will see a few "estrangeros" but for the most part they will have been taken there by some Cuban friend or guide. Just a bunch of genuine Cubans that have nothing to do with the tourist industry but who recognize a good deal when they see one. And that's what I mean by "different".

Once inside, another refreshing aspect is the fact that if you speak enough Spanish to order and get by, the waiters will not try to show off by forcing their mastery of the English language upon you. They will treat you like any other client.

The food is great, abundant and cheap (relatively cheap). If it is on the menu that day go for the whole fried fish. It's big, fresh, crispy and delicious!

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank gadougui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level Contributor
62 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Like gazpacho soup? You will love theirs.”
Reviewed January 10, 2012

We were sent their by our Cuban guide as an authentic Cuban restaurant. It was close to our hotel, The Saratoga and we went for lunch. The portions were huge and our lunches were really good. It was the only place that seemed to have salads, like a good Caesar. But the best thing was the gazpacho that was kept cold by slivers of ice chips. We got there at 12:30 and were sat immediately. When we left at 2:30 there was a huge line.

Visited December 2011
1 Thank Carol S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
188 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
“The most quantity of food for the low price.”
Reviewed November 30, 2011

and excellent menu of 8 pages with a lot of variety, they serve the best eperlan of fish of cuba.

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Rodney R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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