We were warmly welcomed into The Spur, and as we were the only patrons in the place, had quite a choice of seating. Since my last visit I noticed that the menu has been revamped —in design, though not in content. It is a very slick publication and gives a great impression. But I could tell that the management still doesn’t have complete faith in the country’s stability, as they don’t print the prices on the menu; rather you get a separate list with the prices on. A quaint Zim precaution against hyperinflation!
Our waitress, Lokadia, brought us bubblegum milkshakes, and we all ordered the Spur specialty, namely ribs. To our great disappointment they didn’t have their trademark dish — ribs! So we ordered a steak and burger for the kids from the Kids menu and a New York steak for me. The average price for kid’s menu items is about US$8 and for a main adult meal about US$15.
The New York steak was a sirloin, 200g, with which I ordered the usual heart-clogging but delicious chips and deep-fried onion rings. Not to knock the Spur though, as the menu helpfully advises you to order baked potatoes and salads etc. as a healthy eating option. The steak was delicious and cooked to perfect medium rare as I ordered.
A few other people came in to grab a bite, thank goodness, making us feel a little less self-conscious, all alone in the huge eating area. I am always amazed how they keep going, but the establishment is very well-kept and still has a great family friendly atmosphere.
The Great Enclosure where The Spur is located is cavernous and grandly decorated with kitsch oversized artifacts such as ten foot high statues.
The casino is sunken in the middle with the restaurants and shops along the side. I remember well the “good old days” when tourism was booming, when you could not hear yourself think for all the people in the restaurants, and in the central casino. It really is a place that needs a lot of people to give it any vibe.
At least The Spur has survived, the other bars and restaurants have been shuttered up for years.
After much deliberation, we decided to order a waffle to share, as we had reached our gastronomic maximum. Alas, poor Lokadia had to deliver the bad news — Sorry, no waffles! I can only assume the waffle iron was down, as they really are not hard to make and they did have ice-cream, which we ordered. The kids were very excited to read the pamphlets about the in-house children’s club “The Secret Tribe.” But there was no mention of this and indeed no effort at all to make any fuss over the children, which is normally a Spur hallmark and incentive to go there for us parents. I suppose I shouldn’t blame the staff, it must be hard to maintain an over-the-top friendliness, when there is so little to do.
Overall the meal was good, the service was acceptable and the value fair. It is not The Spur’s fault that there are too few visitors to give the place atmosphere, but we’ll go back as the kids still enjoy it enough, for now.
Expect to spend US$20 to US$40
Kingdom Hotel, Victoria Falls