The Butcher’s Kitchen brings something a little extraordinary to the table, with a unique and innovative dining concept.
Report by Report by Le Connoisseur
The name of the restaurant alone should send shivers of gastronomic delight up the spine of any self-respecting carnivore and certainly there were a fair number of this variety of our species intently trolling down the aisles when we visited; beady eyes roving over the fleshy offerings of beast, fowl and fish, hands tenderly squeezing rolls and joints, fingertips acutely tuned to signs of succulent, juicy tenderness.
Eating out at The Butcher’s Kitchen is certainly a dining experience with a difference.
For the first-time diner, the atmosphere is initially somewhat confusing as the premises are a combination of shop and restaurant.
If you are there to dine, once drinks have been ordered from the fully-stocked bar, the more adventurous diners are encouraged to select the exact piece of meat they would like served on their plate, cooked to their specification.
This means that there is a mêlée of shoppers and diners wandering around. Wine can be purchased in the shop and drunk at your table at no extra charge.
After selecting a table inside, next to the fridges, Saturday lunch time being rather crowded and hot, we set off to prowl the aisles and scan the displays.
I decided to splash out on salmon while my companions scorned all but the thickest and juiciest looking rump and fillet steaks they could find.
Having passed on our cooking instructions to the chef, we returned to our table and decided to share a large salad as a starter. This is self-service from a variety on display at the Salad Bar.
For those who are squeamish about the bloody, preparatory stages involved in choosing a cut of meat and prefer only to deal with the cooked article, there is a small set menu offering assorted wraps, lasagne, lamb curry, gourmet hotdogs and traditional fish and chips.
I would strongly advise that the aforementioned squeamish ones sit outside and not facing the fridges full of raw meat while tucking in!
Our steaks arrived, cooked to perfection, tender and full of succulent juices and served with piles of crunchy chips or a big buttery baked potato. A warning to those of medium appetite, the cuts are generous and I certainly needed a Doggie Bag!
From the dessert menu, Lemon Cheesecake and ice-cream were the only puddings available. The delights of Italian Tiramisu or the Bread and Butter pudding will have to be left until our next visit. The cheesecake was the genuine article and went down a treat with a very large cup of filter coffee.
If you are going to venture to The Butcher’s Kitchen, you do need to take the time to allow all of your senses to enjoy each stage of the experience fully; from the first registering of meaty nuances on the breeze as you get out of your car, through the visual display of an amazing range of different cheeses and meats (a wondrous miracle for those of us who can still remember the days of empty shelves), for the connoisseur, the tactile testing for tenderness, the sound of the chef’s acknowledgements of your specific cooking instructions, right the way through to the tantalising anticipation of the flavoursome juices exploding in your mouth.
Situated at the Borrowdale Shopping Centre in the old Keg and Sable premises next door to TM Supermarket, The Butcher’s Kitchen is open from 8am for breakfast every day, Saturdays and Sundays until 4pm and Wednesday and Friday evenings until 9pm.
The restaurant is run by a battalion of staff who managed an easy-going balance between seeing to your needs and giving you space to wander around and make your choice.
Billing is calculated by adding a US$10 cooking fee to the cost of your chosen meat. We were impressed by the innovative concept, the experience itself, and of course, by our food! Butcher’s Kitchen, a new entrant, comes highly recommended.
Expect to spend US$20-US$30 per head
Borrowdale Village, Harare.