Food ordered, we sat back to enjoy some people watching. Arundel Village is a cosmopolitan venue, lunch time affording the best opportunity to enjoy a good cross section of the Harare community.
Our drinks arrived quickly and my friend proclaimed her cappuccino one of the nicest she’d ever had. My iced coffee was also delicious, the coffee definitely real not instant, strong and milky with lots of crushed ice which didn’t dilute the flavour and a huge dollop of ice-cream that tasted as though it was laced with caramel to top it off.
Our food took about 20 minutes. My friend’s chicken stir-fry was very good, the chicken moist and tasty with a really good sauce, and though we had a sneaking suspicion the noodles were from a packet, they were cooked to perfection. My bacon and banana sandwich was cut neatly and tasted exactly as expected. Served on the side was a lovely little salad with the most divine dressing.
Once finished the table was quickly cleared and we looked forward to sampling some wickedly enticing sweets. Our waitress did not ask if we’d like anything else to drink, or if she could bring the menu back for dessert, so after a few minutes we called her over, to order and ask for the bill.
My friend is a lemon cheese-cake fanatic so she ordered this. Sad to learn apple pie was not available, I settled on traditional waffles with cream, but had to ask for a menu. I made a mental note to come back for an afternoon foray to try the muffins and pastries on display.
Having enjoyed our meal thus far, we had high expectations. Our waitress returned without much delay bearing the biggest slice of lemon cheese-cake I’ve ever seen, a squeezy bottle of Maple Syrup, my waffles and the bill. Popping payment in the wallet provided, we tucked into dessert.
I was glad to have a bottle of syrup instead of a small jug, as I discovered the middle of the waffle was undercooked and I needed to mask the uncooked baking powder taste that sets your teeth on edge!
My friend felt her cheese-cake was good but too big, the granadilla coulis and cheese-cake lacking the tanginess and intensity of flavour that makes lemon cheese-cake sublime, and a smaller serving adequate. Our payment remained uncollected throughout, so we went inside to pay as we were running very late.
The interior is tastefully decorated, perhaps a little dark, walls painted a pretty mushroom colour to match the patio, plush red seating and twig arrangements gave an oriental feel in contrast to the more laid-back outside area.
The restaurant is clean and well-maintained, the ladies no exception, the only criticism being the lack of a lock, leaving one vulnerable to those who have not mastered the art of knocking! Staff were uniformed, polite and unobtrusive — possibly a little too much so. Giovanni’s is great for a chilled-out treat. There are elements that could be improved, but I would definitely go back, knowing I’d enjoy myself.
Deluxe Coffee Shop
Expect to spend US$10 to US$20 per head
Arundel Village, Mount Pleasant, Harare.