Nando’s Marimba — Trying hard in a difficult location

My only previous eating experience in Marimba Shopping Centre was at the highly acclaimed Cellar Restaurant which sadly closed many years ago. Even then the centre was unattractive and remains more so today. There is virtually no surface remaining on its road, and a general air of neglect.

By Le connoisseur

The only well-kept building is Nando’s, at the corner, with a large attractive outdoor eating area and shade provided by umbrellas, though there is no shade for diners’ cars. The interior is the standard very attractive Nando’s décor though it was beginning to look jaded and definitely not as cheerful as my last visited Kwekwe branch.

The menu on the wall behind the counter is “chicken or chicken” with additional specials displayed on tabletop cards. To my disappointment they did not have Espitada (chicken kebab skewer) so I decided to be adventurous and ordered the wrap (US$5). Although filled with tasty (though lukewarm) chicken strips, the wrap itself was unappetising and tough. My companion fared much better with her choice of “saucy strips, veg, and rice” which at US$7 proved excellent value, and I ordered a Portuguese salad (US$4) with extra feta cheese and olives (US$2).

Although familiar with the ingredients of a Greek salad, there seems little consensus on the ingredients of a Portuguese salad.

At Nando’s it is a green salad of iceberg lettuce and tomatoes given a Mediterranean twist by the extra feta and olives.

As I’m not a fan of pavement dining when so many passers-by are struggling to provide for basic daily needs, we ate inside. Although I had to order our meal from the counter, it was served by very pleasant staff at our table on china plates and the salad in a glass bowl. Next, another trip to the counter for dessert and coffee, Nando’s cheesecake (US$4) and chocolate mousse (US$5); alas “hot sticky pudding” was not available.

The “jury is still out” on the quality of the coffee, it was strong and hot but lacked the kick of our wonderful local beans and might even have had some dreaded chicory! I meant to enquire further but the restaurant was busy and the fact I am unsure means it wasn’t unpleasant!

Collecting the key from the counter I headed off to the Ladies at another corner of the Shopping Centre. Sadly it was dirty, smelly, and lacking all essential amenities. I beat a hasty retreat and settled for washing my hands at the modern sink thoughtfully provided at the back of the restaurant.

Nando’s Marimba has all the basic requirements, other than a clean toilet! Most importantly, it has their signature dish of flame grilled marinated chicken, great value at US$13 for a whole bird, with a choice of peri-peri sauce or lemon and herb butter.

Collecting the key from the counter, I headed off to the ladies at another corner of the Shopping Centre. Sadly, it was dirty, smelly, and lacking all essential amenities. I beat a hasty retreat and settled for washing my hands at the modern sink thoughtfully provided at the back of the restaurant.

Nando’s Marimba has all the basic requirements, other than a clean toilet! Most importantly, it has their signature dish of flame grilled marinated chicken, great value at US$13 for a whole bird, with a choice of peri-peri sauce or lemon and herb butter.

Speciality Restaurant
3 Plates
Expect to spend US$7 to US$15 per head
Marimba Shopping Centre, Marimba Park, Harare

Speciality Restaurant
3 Plates
Expect to spend US$7 to US$15 per head
Marimba Shopping Centre, Marimba Park, Harare

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