So it was a huge contrast stepping into the serene atmosphere of the entrance lobby where we were greeted and directed toward the Loziba Restaurant.
The hotel foyer is most attractive — furnished artistically with an ethnic theme with walls and cabinets displaying local sculptures, carvings and woven baskets. The beautiful chandelier is a work of art and a very prominent feature as is the elegant staircase leading to the upper rooms. One gets a very favourable first impression.
Upon entering Loziba, we were warmly greeted and escorted to our table in a cosy corner of the restaurant. When we had telephoned earlier to book a table we were politely informed this would not be necessary. Now, looking around, we could see why . . . we were the only customers!
Comfortably seated, we were welcomed by our waiters who presented us with our Menus.
Now we had an opportunity to take a moment to relax, enjoy the soft-playing ‘60’s music, browse through the Menu and take note of our surroundings!
The décor being appropriately “African” with light shades, pictures and furnishings in attractive earth colours; tables laid with crisp white tablecloths and napkins and terracotta-coloured runners.
The Wine List offered quite a large range of red, white and rosé wines but in the end we opted for a glass of house wine — a dry white Simonsvlei Sauvignon Blanc.
There was quite a good choice of Starters including dishes such as Matopo Sliced Mushrooms with garlic and Greek Salad. Also a choice of homemade soups.
We chose the Hawaiian Chicken and the Crumbed Mushrooms — both attractively garnished and quite delicious!
There was a large variety of Mains to choose from — Chicken or Vegetarian Pasta; Sadza and Stew; Pan-fried Pork Chops, Chicken Indiana, and Vegetable Curry — with both vegetarians and juniors being catered for.
We ordered Fillet Steak with Béarnaise Sauce from a selection of “Steaks from the Grill”, and Grilled Whole Trout from a choice of two fish dishes — Trout or Bream. These were served with a mixed medley of vegetables and “roast” potatoes and chips. Unfortunately the vegetables were over-cooked and both types of potatoes were “unremarkable”, to say the least. But the Steak was tender and the trout beautifully cooked and presented.
Desserts were limited to a choice of Profiteroles, Sponge Roll or Fresh Fruit Salad. We chose the Fruit Salad which was excellent — with Fresh Cream and Strawberry Ice Cream. Various types of Coffee and Tea were available, but we had over-indulged somewhat and decided to stop there!
We thought it most unfortunate that there were so few patrons. During the evening a party of four came in and also two single diners, but I believe we were the ones who most enjoyed the dining experience.
Everyone else appeared simply to eat and promptly leave! It is sad to see such a place almost empty on a Saturday night. We chatted with the staff who confirmed that business is slow — especially at this time of year.
Plates 4, Expect to spend US$20 to US$30 per head
Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel, corner 10th Ave/Josiah Tongogara Ave,
Service at loziba excellent
The service was excellent — all waiters and staff being most attentive and efficient —and we felt that the prices at around US$4 for Starters and US$12-15 for Mains were pretty good value for money.
By the way, upon enquiry, we were told the restaurant was named “Loziba” in honour of Mzilikazi’s favourite wife.
I think the King himself would have approved!