HomeWining & DiningThe all-seasons River Café

The all-seasons River Café

The café has the appearance of an old farmhouse very pleasantly positioned overlooking extensive lawns bordered by pretty flower beds and shrubs surrounded by tall, shady trees. Access is just a few metres off the busy main road, down a tree-lined secluded approach, to a spacious and secure parking area.

We hadn’t booked a table as our visit was totally impromptu, having decided on the spur of the moment to cool out and treat ourselves to lunch after what had been a reluctant but very necessary excursion into town and, after the stress of searching for suitable parking and fighting queues and crowds, we looked forward to finding a quiet place to relax and soothe our frazzled nerves. The dining room is a fairly large and spacious area with one complete side open to the patio and garden. Furniture and décor are plain and practical.

We arrived around 1.15pm and having found a well-placed table for two, our waitress immediately recognised two thirsty customers and the urgency of our needs, and our order for a Mazoe Orange and a mango fruit drink with lots of ice arrived almost before we had time to settle down and ask for the menu.

Apart from the printed laminated double-sided menu handed to us, there was also a large variety of dishes written up on a large wall-mounted chalkboard. The menu was quite extensive, offering breakfast dishes such as omelettes and toasty treats, as well as the usual lunch-time fare — burgers and salads —quiches and a large variety of sandwiches. There were also home-baked pies and pasta dishes, and various meat and fish dishes.

It was rather difficult to make a choice but after careful deliberation I decided on the sweet and sour chicken in pita bread with chips and salad. This was very tasty and nicely presented and proved a very satisfactory choice. My partner opted for the seafood combo, which comprised four king-sized prawns and a sizeable portion of calamari, beautifully cooked and served with white rice and a very nice salad. Both dishes were greatly enjoyed. Taking a second look at the menu we decided to round off our meal with one of the tempting desserts. We considered the milk tart and the waffles — even the ubiquitous ice-cream with chocolate sauce — but in the end shared a large portion of apple pie with ice-cream — and a pot of Tanganda tea.

I have to say that the service we received was excellent — and quite impressive to say the least! Just one single waitress who did everything from greeting us at the door, taking and serving our orders, regularly checking our needs throughout the meal, and finally writing up the bill — while at the same time dealing, efficiently and courteously, with the occupants at the other six tables! You could say that she was rushed off her feet, but somehow she managed to stay calm and cheerful throughout!

In conclusion I was pleased to see that the toilets are presently being given a much needed coat of paint — the premises may be old but this is no excuse for unappealing facilities, so this is a good move. This was a pleasant experience all round.

Coffee Shop
12th Avenue, Suburbs, Bulawayo.
3 plates, expect to spend US$7 to US$25 a head depending on whether it’s a snack or a full meal.

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