“Plaaskombuis” — “Farm Kitchen” is an apt name for this restaurant whose origins go back to Spring Fever Farm in Karoi.
By Le Connoisseur
Having been a fan of this restaurant from its Karoi origins when I used to stop on my way to/from Kariba, to its sojourn in Westgate and finally it’s present home in Rowland Square, I was delighted to be allocated it to review.
Lest you accuse me of bias, I have only ever been to the present Spring Fever for its wonderful Sunday lunch so in the interest of fairness for this review I visited on a weekday!
The menu is very comprehensive —all-day breakfasts, brunches, lunches, salads, sweets and daily specials.
The Plaaskombuis breakfast as expected is the most substantial as well as the most expensive at US$12. For those of a more delicate nature, there is the option of a Vegetarian breakfast or a crumpet stack as well as all the usual breakfast variations and combinations.
We lunched on a Friday when the special is lemon and herb or peri-peri chicken with chips and a choice of salads.
As usual, I choose the daily special which at US$10 seemed excellent value. My more discerning companion perused the menu and settled for surf and turf, an unusual combination of battered tilapia and sirloin steak, at the very reasonable price of US$15.
To the restaurant’s credit, they were willing and able on request to replace the sirloin steak with fillet steak alongside of which were three fillets of bream, a hearty dish by any standards! They also served me with a side dish of garlic which I requested to give my wonderfully herbed and moist chicken an added zest.
The chips were just as “mother used to make”, fat and freshly fried in pure oil and bearing no relation to the ready-cut, thin greasy mass-produced double-fried variety so often endured at lesser eateries!
Included in my chicken dish was a “help yourself” selection of salads — crispy lettuce with feta cheese, olives, onions, tomatoes, potato salad, bean salad, beetroot salad and lovely big juicy pickled onions! As the menu explained, all the dishes are freshly cooked and for this pleasure (or maybe it was my companion’s request for a fillet steak!) I willingly excuse them the delay in serving our meal.
Having, on arrival, drooled over the wonderful selection of cakes in the fridge cabinet, there was no way calorie counting was going to inhibit us from this indulgence! Milk tart and Black Forest Gâteau were our choices and we agreed that these deserved joint first place as both were outstandingly good.
The Black Forest had an amazingly generous four layers and the Melktart had wonderfully thin sweet pastry with a thick creamy custard filling to which we added cream, an extra graciously provided at our request.
Finally the coffee, that most important beverage for all the restaurants entered in this category — large cups of hot, strong, freshly filtered coffee completed what was a superb meal worthy of any Plaaskombuis!
As if opening seven days a week was not enough for this family-run restaurant, Spring Fever also has a comprehensive take-away menu. Frozen meals in microwaveable foils are a most reasonable US$4/US$6, and I can heartily recommend the Bobotie.
I have yet, but intend very soon, to try their snack platter at US$20, comprising a dozen each of sausage rolls, samoosas, bacon wraps and meat balls.
There is also a mouth-watering list of confectionary and finger snacks and a comprehensive display of biscuits, jams and sauces. The wine glasses are of a satisfyingly large variety, ice plentiful, mixers very reasonably priced and no corkage is charged! Also, there is a guarded car park outside the restaurant.
Although for me Rowland Square is quite a journey by Harare standards, the quality of the food, welcoming staff, relaxed ambience and excellent value for money make every kilometre travelled to eat at Spring Fever well worth the journey.
Deluxe Coffee Shop
Expect to spend US$15 to US$20 per head
2 Rowland Square, Milton Park, Harare