What a delightful surprise Garwe is! It is situated between busy main roads yet is removed from the loudness of passing cars. The set up is interesting. On arrival we were surprised by a red carpet leading to the eating area.
There is the option of sitting outside in direct sunlight or under the canopy of trees. There is also a built up thatched room if you wish to be cool and protected from the elements. There is plenty of space to house a large and busy clientèle.
Our waitress, Primrose, led us to our table in a cool room with a thatched roof. Once seated, she proceeded to list the various courses available for us to order.
These included guinea fowl, road-runner chicken, duck, ox-tail, knuckle bones, liver and kidney, guru nematumbu, mabhonzo, offal, sadza, rice nedovi, white rice and various vegetable dishes.
The menu is varied and each of the choices was tempting. After a bit of dithering, I chose to treat myself to a dish I love and rarely get to eat as the preparation is so time-consuming and our electricity supplies are just erratic enough to discourage regular attempts. I ordered ox-tail and rice with peanut butter sauce.
My partner chose white sadza and guru nematumbu (casings). We shared green vegetables (rape) and beans.
The restaurant does not serve alcohol and on offer are 100% juices and soft drinks. We ordered a refreshing orange juice and Fanta to accompany our meals.
Our food was promptly served on sizzling platters. Garwe serves traditional meals served and eaten the traditional way — using our hands. Primrose brought warm, soapy water so we could wash our hands.
The only cutlery on the table are the serving spoons. The sadza was hot and perfectly cooked. My partner thoroughly enjoyed the guru nematumbu. The red beans were a little crunchy and undercooked but the green veggies were delicious. It was a tasty and satisfying meal.
I loved my meal as the ox-tail was tender and well seasoned and fell off the bone. The scents of all the food whetted our appetites and we were quick to dig in. It is great to be able to find traditional well prepared food within easy reach of the office or home.
The prices are great too for the basic dishes and easily affordable. The ox-tail is pricier but as it is more of a treat than everyday fare, I was happy to pay. What I found a little disconcerting were the televised sermons, coming from picture-less televisions in the open space!
Garwe is a busy place. On arrival we were worried we would not be able to have our meal as the car park was full.
There is a constant hustle and bustle as clients arrive, eat and return to their jobs, homes or errands. Service by well-dressed and obviously well-trained staff is fast and efficient and that’s what makes this restaurant a family and worker’s heaven.
It is perfectly situated in Eastlea not too far away from town or the business hubs of Newlands and Msasa.
Expect to spend US$12 to US$25
18637 Donald McDonald Road, Eastlea, Harare