99 High Street
Prahran , 3181 VIC
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High Street Prahran is getting a taste of Miami and Cubano sandwiches with the newly opened Little Havana. The name is an ode to a vibrant Cuban neighbourhood in Miami, Florida and it’s rich Latin American culture.
Charlie Carrington, Head Chef and Owner of Altas Dining, is the mastermind behind this new venue. As a travel veteran, Charlie is constantly chasing international culinary gems to bring home to Melbourne.
Little Havana has landed in the heart of Prahran, just around the corner from where Atlas Dining has resided for seven years. Known to offer a unique affordable fine dining experience, Atlas changes its menu every few months to a cuisine inspired by Charlie’s recent gastronomic adventures.
So naturally, at least for an acclaimed hatted chef like Charlie, perfecting the art of the Cuban sandwich was necessary after falling in love with Little Havana in Miami and visiting twice last year.
“I just love the energy of the place…there’s all these amazing restaurants, cool little bars, they specialise in cocktails and music,” explains Charlie.
For him, it’s the Cuban sandwich’s simplicity— with just a duel-meat combo, mustard, pickles and cheese—that calls for precision and consistency, with nowhere to hide. “It took months of trial and error, to perfect and systemise the menu, to be able to do day in and out.”
The Cuban sandwich is known to be a construction tradie’s post-work lunch in Miami, so Little Havana is offering a more paired-back menu, compared to the other super decadent sandwiches on the market.
The menu consists of five meticulously curated sandwiches and three salads, showcasing cured ham and roast beef made from scratch. There’s also potential for monthly or quarterly specials to be added in the future.
With texture at the forefront, the meat goes through a slicer, so that each bite cuts through multiple juicy layers. “We are probably one of the only few that make all our own products and marinades, so that gives us a little bit of an edge.”
Each sandwich is pressed and grilled so that the ingredients melt together and remain enclosed by the Cuban-style rolls’ crispy crust. There are sides of fries, croquettes and tapioca chips, and in true Melbourne style, coffee poured daily.
This is all served up in a freshly renovated space, with the help of Chapter Group, transporting visitors to Miami with a black and white chequered floor, neon pink lights and wooden details throughout.
With the interiors transcending expectations, the team has plans to open the space up for functions in the future, serving up their Miami love-story menu.
“We want to try and do some other stuff here because it’s such a cool vibe.”
Image credit: Little Havana (supplied)