Those of you who used to frequent the Karoi/Chinhoyi area will surely know about Spring Fever. It was a place worth going out of one’s way for; the food always generous, tasty and the service friendly and professional. Well, now you can just enjoy it all right here in Harare! Situated in Rowland Square, just off Prince Edward Street, Spring Fever is an institution that those who remember its earlier days, will do so with fond memories.
Report by le connoisseur
Recently I had the privilege to be introduced to Spring Fever, Harare. As soon as we arrived, the maitre d’, appositely bearing the name “Smart”, welcomed us with professional courtesy and found us a good table on the outside lawn. There were various groups of business people, some married couples as well as ladies requiring sustenance after their exhaustive shopping sessions.
Studying the menu, it was immediately clear that Spring Fever is there because the management loves presenting comforting, hearty as well as trendy food to its customers. In fact, the Sunday lunch buffet is somewhat of a legend and one needs to book to ensure a place. That buffet will enable one to eat enough food to last for the rest of the week, so say the stories of those lucky enough to have sampled it.
When we were there, it was not a Sunday, however, and while sipping our fruit juice and coke we looked through the menu to identify a starter. We decided on a fried haloumi salad as well as a chef’s salad. We asked these to be served as starters and as mains we went for the beef tortilla and the surf and turf (entrecote and tilapia fillet). We enjoyed observing the friendly camaraderie among the staff, which they let not impact on a good standard of service, but rather used to create an ambience that felt like family.
After a little while, the salads were brought, and they looked colourful, fresh and very appetising. Alas, while we had only just started on them, we were also presented with our main courses. Perhaps our request for the salads to be our starters had not quite registered. We adapted and combined it all. The mains were, however, slightly cooled down already. But that just spurred us on and we attacked the fare with alacrity and fervour.
Quantities of food served are generous, and I could not quite manage to polish off all my food, especially since I had already spied a good assortment of cakes on the menu, and was conscious of needing to reserve some space in order for me to be able to write about the cakes at Spring Fever as well. Such are the hardships of a restaurant reviewer; it needs someone with stamina, determination, and willingness for self-sacrifice — going on all the way to the bitter — or rather “sweet” end.
I decided to put myself on the altar of chocolate, by ordering a Black Forest cake. My fellow lunch victim ordered a cheesecake. Black Forest cakes come in layers: I have seen two-layered, and even at times three-layered ones. The one that I was now given appealed to my sense of sacrifice: it had four layers! I attacked it manfully, enjoyed it tremendously —the cream velvety, chocolate clearly there, and the cherries, well, on the top. In the interest of writing about it all, I sampled a bit of cheesecake too. It was lovely: a refreshing lift from the lemon and a smoothness that was utterly seductive. We had coffees with our cakes, and these were hot, strong and exactly the right beverage to settle ourselves and enjoy some rest from our sacrificial labours.
Spring is around the corner. Get that fever, and visit Spring Fever soon.
Coffee Shop which also serves meals
2 Rowland Square, Milton Park
Expect to spend US$15 to US$20 a head
Preparation and Presentation
Good food for me means good presentation, respect for the quality of the natural product (avoid over-cooking, over-saucing, over-handling etc.), and expert use and enhancement of flavours. All those criteria are met successfully by the chef at Spring Fever. The food looks good, tastes rich and has a lovely combination of textures and ingredients, resulting in plates of food that present one with crunchy, velvety and crisp mouthfuls.