PHOTOS: New Cuban Restaurant Opens in Malden Center
Oyá Cuban Cafe brings authentic Cuban cuisine and culture to Exchange Street, as well as another upscale dining option to the city's growing restaurant scene.
Maybe you've walked past Oyá Cuban Cafe, a new Cuban restaurant in Malden Center that quietly held a soft opening last week – but there's a lot worth gawking at inside, too.
Chef/Owner Roberto Niubo left his native Havana for the United States when he was 26, and studied the cuisine both in his homeland and at Boston's Le Cordon Bleu.
After graduating from the latter, Niubo decided to bring some Cuban flair to the Boston area, finally settling on opening a business in Malden after 12 years in the business.
“There aren't a lot of Cuban restaurants around here,” he said, noting the location's proximity to an MBTA station, local businesses and a growing downtown.
"I think we have a pretty good chance to show people what we can do."
Oyá has an authentic feel: walls are lined with authentic Cuban artwork and other decorations from the island. Weekend performances of traditional music are also planned.
The menu too, is full of classic Cuban cuisine. Niubo says the most popular dish seems to be the Sandwich Cubano, made with slow roasted pork, ham, melted Swiss cheese, pickles and a mustard sauce on Cuban bread.
The chef, however, recommends the Arroz Imperial con Maduros, a baked casserole dish with rice, chicken and blended cheeses.
“But we try to do everything from scratch here,” he adds. “Everything is good.”
So far, those writing on their Facebook wall seem to agree.
“Thank you for a wonderful lunch,” Virginia Peck Daly wrote. “Your food is amazing and service is great. We look forward to visiting often.”
“We had such an amazing lunch today!” Deb Raymond O'Leary reported. “Such great food but more importantly, a family restaurant!”