The restaurant is attractively positioned in an old house to the north of the city centre, making curb-side parking easy and allowing for a garden play area for the not-so-old as well as garden seating for diners.
Report by By Le Connoisseur
We were excited by the sign advertising a gallery as well as the restaurant but alas the gallery is no more, though there are lots of interesting paintings, wall hangings depicting traditional African life, ornamental candles, wooden sculptures, metal mobiles, wire and bead work animals in every nook and cranny.
The restaurant occupies several rooms as well as a very large tiled veranda with drop down blinds for when shelter is needed. Most notable in one of the rooms was a life-sized wooden sculpture of the rear view of a naked lady displaying voluptuous buttocks at eye level!
Unfortunately, vehicle breakdown meant that we arrived for our planned lunch just 30 minutes before the restaurant was due to close at 5pm and it is to our charming host Patrick’s credit that he welcomed us so fulsomely and assured us that having a meal would be no problem as the staff would cook it before their departure time and we could eat as leisurely as we liked. Only one other table was occupied and left soon after our arrival.
The menu was displayed on two large chalk boards — the food board had a selection of beef, pork and chicken dishes as well as vegetarian pasta which Patrick told us was homemade. The drinks board listed “Egyptian” fruit juices of many kinds and beers, cider, coffees and hot chocolate.
To atone for our inconsiderately late arrival, we allowed Patrick to suggest what we should eat; bream fillet and pan fried chicken breast both accompanied by yellow rice was the outcome. Perhaps because of our lateness, the advertised vegetables never did appear.
However, we were each served a simple salad of lettuce, onion, tomato and cucumber. An interesting selection of sauces; homemade tomato and onion, coriander, mushroom and chilli; completed our meal.
The moistness of both the fish and chicken attested to the fact that they were freshly and expertly pan fried, portions were generous and the accompanying melted lemon butter added the necessary flavour.
Although no desserts were listed on the board, there was a promise of free cake for lunch diners but our late arrival certainly disqualified us and despite not being pressured, we felt we should not linger longer than to finish our meal with a cappuccino coffee.
Maybe the expert cappuccino maker had already gone home because, despite hearing the “hiss and splutter” which usually precedes the appearance of frothed milk, we were given cups of disappointing milky weak coffee, devoid of froth.
From the moment of our arrival to that of our departure, we were entertained by Patrick who as well as giving us a potted version of his very interesting lineage and life history, gave us a guided tour of the artefacts which had once occupied the Gallery we had hoped to see.
Although not listed on the board, Patrick told us that he opens at 8am and also serves breakfasts and toasted sandwiches, making his menu very comprehensive indeed.
Expect to spend US$12 – US$16 per head
111, 2nd Street, Mutare.
Green Coucal offers relaxing environment
While our food was quite acceptable, it is the relaxed environment, easy parking and unique décor that make Green Coucal definitely worth a visit.