The night was dark and dreary, the wind rustled through the trees, the air was moist, grey and dank; a general gloominess had set in.
By Le Connoisseur
What is more, the family had a hectic day behind them, and being quite tired and not really feeling like cooking, we summoned up the courage to go out; in order to pay our respects to The Codfather.
We knew we would not really need to bring our guns, nor would we be asked to eat spaghetti and meatballs or have a chat with uncle Mario or aunt Julietta. What we wanted was something fishy. And that is what you get at The Codfather. Obviously.
Arriving, we were greeted warmly, and after explaining our reservation — made a mere 10 minutes before — the waiters quickly arranged a table for four: mama, papa and the bambini (university age, actually) seated themselves. I quickly ordered a bottle of white wine, and this was brought with alacrity.
While sipping our sauvignon blanc, we looked at the menu. It offered a wide selection of fish dishes. Starters including calamari, oysters, snails, prawns, etc. — all done in various ways — as well as salads.
We were almost spoilt for choice, so after some negotiations we got our friendly waiter to ask the chef to give us a mixed starter platter for three, instead of the platter for two that the menu normally offers.
For main courses, there are again prawns and calamari, of course, but also some pasta (including a vegetarian one), surf and turf, sole, hake, mussels, crab, lobster, etc. The son went for the surf and turf, the daughter for curried prawns, mama for mussels provençale, and papa for the sole.
The wine had its desired relaxing effect on the family gathering, and soon we were laughing away at our very witty jokes — hopefully not disturbing the guests at the four or five other tables on the Codfather’s verandah.
However, they seemed to be enjoying themselves at least as much as we were. The verandah setting was very pleasant, especially in the evening, and we felt comfortable, relaxed and joyous, looking forward to some nice seafood and fish.
The mixed starter platters came, and we delved into the calamari, prawns and other delicacies. We soon polished them off and ordered another bottle of wine which came with our main courses.
The steak of the surf and turf was pronounced excellent, the curried prawns had a lovely spice mix, the sole was done well, but the mussels provençale were disappointing. There were too few mussels, lots of what looked like tinned tomato and onion: little provençale, not enough mussels. Otherwise, portion sizes were reasonable, perhaps slightly on the small side.
There was no little complimentary salad with the sole, which was a pity. Nevertheless, it tasted very good, and the French fries were OK too, but perhaps not as crispy as they could have been.
The family continued their jocularities, becoming progressively more random and silly, but — so we thought to ourselves — always remaining entirely hilarious.
The food and wine, and the spacious Codfather verandah, contributed to the general sense of well-being in no small measure.
To end our meal, we had some desserts — Eton mess (described as “eaton” on the menu, which we instantly made into: “eat on!”) and a cheesecake — both of which were a lovely end to the meal. Of course there also was an espresso for Papa.
All in all, it was a wonderful evening out for the family — the Codfather proving in no way to be as menacing as the name might suggest. The prices — considering one gets access to fish in Harare, capital of landlocked Zimbabwe —are quite reasonable. It is certainly worth a visit.
Expect to spend US$25 – US$35 per head
15 Dacomb Drive, Chisipite, Harare