A new spot for getting traditional Cuban eats opened Saturday in the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul, offering customers the experience of being in Havana without ever going to Cuba.
The opening of La Bodeguita del Medio features a wide array of traditional Cuban dance and music performances along with, of course, Cuban food.
From the restaurant’s name to decorations, food to the music, everything can be traced back to Cuban origins.
Istanbul offers cuisines from multiple countries, but now Cuba is among those nations.
- Most emblematic Cuban restaurant
Havana’s Ambassador to Ankara Luis Alberto Amoros Nunez told Anadolu Agency at the opening event that the "restaurant is a piece of Cuba in Istanbul."
La Bodeguita Del Medio is the most emblematic Cuban restaurant, said Nunez.
“This restaurant in Cuba invented the mohito (a traditional Cuban cocktail),” he added, referring to its sister branch in the Cuban capital of Havana.
"This restaurant represents the most authentic Cuban cuisine, traditions and music,” he said.
Nunez pointed out that Cuba did not have such a place in Istanbul. "It is our most emblematic restaurant and a piece of this emblematic place in the middle of Istanbul."
"This is really nice and that will be very good for strengthening bilateral relations between Cuban people and Turkish people," said Nunez.
He said officials expect that the restaurant could build a bridge between Turkish and Cuban people as well as promote Cuban culture and people to Turks.
"People will find the most authentic Cuban cuisine here and will be very interesting to come and to get information of our traditions and music."
- ‘We have always solidarity and friendship from Turkish people’
Nunez thanked the Turkish people for the love they have for Cuba and their "solidarity."
Noting that Cuba faces very tough sanctions by the US, he said: "We have always solidarity and friendship from Turkish people and they help us."
"I love Turkey and Turkish people a lot,” he added.