But should you value tranquil green surroundings and an opportunity to hear yourself speak, Eve’s Garden, a popular eco café in Highlands, is probably the place to visit.
I arranged recently to meet a friend for lunch at Eve’s Garden, the restaurant section of a vibrant enterprise in Highlands called The Centre for Healthy Living.
I had booked a table for two in a corner overlooking the garden: this corner also provided a bird’s eye view of the many patrons coming and going for lunch and tea between 12.30 and 3pm.
Maggie arrived on time, and feeling in need of an energiser, we both ordered Red Eye Special, a potent combination of fresh apple, carrot, celery and melon, served in a tall glass with an attractive garnish. There was a variety of health drinks on the menu, including liver kick-starter, a great antidote to a weekend of excesses.
Local chefs are not renowned for their skill in soup-making, but soup of the day at Eve’s Garden is a treat. Cream of onion soup was velvety in texture and tasted fresh and full of flavour: if for no other reason, I would return to taste all the soups.
In between courses I admired the crisp, white starched tablecloths and carefully folded table napkins trimmed with cotton lace.
Guessing correctly that Eve’s Garden’s chef would make her own pasta, I was more than happy with my main course choice of Arabbiata pasta. The fettuccine was perfectly cooked, and the sauce, made with fresh tomatoes, had a subtle chilli flavour. Maggie kindly offered me a taste of her vegetable curry, but I declined, guessing it was probably too good to share. Before long, we had both wiped our platters clean.
Crêpe suzette for dessert was less of a delight, lacking the verve and freshness of previous courses. I rather wished I had chosen a toothsome looking slice of carrot or chocolate cake. Filter coffee, however, served in a cafetière, was hot, aromatic and delicious.
Poured into a delicate bone china cup, the taste was so superb that I decided against changing the flavour by adding any warm milk from the jug provided.
Whether you set yourself up for the day with breakfast, fortify yourself with lunch or wind the afternoon down with tea and cake, Eve’s Garden provides the perfect setting.
Speciality Restaurant – Wholesome Health Food, 5 Plates
Expect to Spend US$12 to US$25 per head
5 Hurworth Road, Highlands, Harare.