Last week’s visit was a Friday lunchtime. though the inside was still dimly lit it, was now well-ventilated. Although the tables were not set, they were covered with clean cloths, giving the whole area a fresh appearance. The menu, a laminated pub style card, was new, and offered a sufficient range of meats and fish, though I didn’t enquire if the prawns and mussels were, in fact, available. The waiting staff were also new and young, I was sorry not to see my old mate Noah who did such a good job in past times.
We headed out to the sun and joined several other tables of drinkers and diners in the well-kept back garden which also boasts a gazebo bar (and monkeys gamboling and climbing trees!). There were two specials on the board, crumbed chicken fingers, chips and salad (US$3) and fish and chips with tarta (sic) sauce (US$8). As on previous visits we ordered cold Savannah’s to drink, gipsy spit mushrooms (US$4) and cheese and bacon balls (US$4) for starters. These were faultlessly cooked, the gypsy spit being served with toast to dunk in the accompanying garlic butter and dishes of both garlic and piri piri sauce provided on the side. The wine selection was the same as on our previous visit, viz Robertson “Chateau Box”, so we decided to have another Savannah instead. I am not fazed by the lack of a selection of wines, I suspect that demand for them is minimal and this is after all a pub restaurant. To prove my point they were advertising Glenfiddich 12-year-old whiskey at US$3 a shot and I suspect this reflects the taste of the clientèle!
Our main courses were fillet mignon in a creamy whiskey sauce, probably not Glenfiddich whiskey but very tasty and fish and chips. Both were served with a notably fresh green salad. I was pleased that my fish, which was the special of the day, was pan fried without butter. The fillet was as tender as fillet should be and charmingly served in a cast iron pan, both dishes came with golden chips very obviously fried in fresh oil.
The sweet selection was limited but of course there was ice-cream (US$3) and cinnamon flavoured Mandela pancakes (US$3) so we happily ordered these. Both very acceptable in the context of a pub restaurant though the vanilla ice-cream was not available as it had melted due to the power cut. I am not sure why the chocolate variety had not met the same liquefying fate!
And so to my one disappointment —only Instant Coffee, I hope the new management will get round to buying some filter pots and serving a fresh cup of coffee to complete the otherwise faultless makeover.
My last task was to inspect the toilets and what a joy to find them clean and adequately equipped!
Expect to spend US$14 to US$25 per head
5 Harrow Road, Msasa, Harare.