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Something for everyone at Café Nush

It is refreshingly different to find a coffee shop in Harare that oozes frenetic urban living, somewhere that is vibrant and full of clued-up clientèle of varied nationalities, in animated discussion. German, Spanish and a smattering of Italian were heard as we climbed the steps from pavement to coffee shop — more cosmopolitan and somehow livelier and more stimulating than the proliferation of coffee places that have sprouted up over the past few years in quiet residential areas in Harare.

By Le Connoisseur

Parking at Avondale Shopping Centre is definitely not for the faint-hearted. But a brave and patient countenance helps when making the excursion to Café Nush and it’s well worth the hassle. The smart façade of the café faces the parking area and the outside has been deliberately elevated so that the hustle and bustle can be best observed.

Entering this café is a bit daunting when, as it often is, it’s heaving with clientèle, as most are there to do a bit of people-watching! But the turnover of patrons is quite reasonable and a soon-to-be-free table can easily be nabbed by some clever observation and discreet manoeuvering. Our waiter service, in the person of Blessing, was quick and efficient.

The fresh fruit juices sounded tempting; ginger with apple or orange and mint among others of varying combinations, but I settled for a carrot and orange juice.  It tasted very refreshing but could’ve been served with more ice. The vanilla milkshake was on the warm side as well. Odd thing though, the glasses they came in were freezing.

There is plenty to choose from on the menu and the general theme is definitely Eastern fusion, with the usuals thrown in for good measure. As it was lunchtime, Alfredo with chicken and a Nush caesar salad were ordered. There’s definitely something for everyone, but a second, closer look at the menu didn’t yield that “extra” something I was expecting. Vegetarians would be in heaven and the younger ones would be very happy too. I liked the menu, the layout, and the description of the food wasn’t too sophisticated (which was almost expected in a place with so much glass and chrome) but I did wonder whether the fare on offer might not be better suited to a family restaurant than an up-market deluxe café.

The food on offer, in reality, seemed to be rather a re-hash of every other have-a-go coffee-shop-cum-café in Harare, but with a few spicy options thrown in for good measure. I expected a bit more from this swanky joint. Some of these newer deluxe coffee shops wouldn’t go wrong in concentrating far more on perfecting an interesting range of coffees and offering an attractive assortment of top notch sweet delicacies and some interesting, imaginative light meals, rather than lots of the ubiquitous, uninspired full-blown meals — is burger and chips really necessary on the menu of a deluxe coffee shop? The plethora of restaurants in Avondale can quite easily fill that gap and serve lunch platters piled high with chips, leaving the coffee shops to do what they should be doing— perfecting the art of coffee making!

Café Nush promotes itself as a confectioner and there are more than enough delicious looking cakes filled with cream and dripping with chocolate from which to choose. I noticed a sign saying “In Association with Veldermeers” — the Belgian chocolatier of Arundel and Msasa. So, a cake or two (one of which boasted a real Belgian chocolate filling) from the confectionary cabinet (the éclairs were worth every illicit bite!), and a coffee finished off our lunch. The filtered coffee was hot and strong but the cappuccino was disappointingly feeble. I very much hope that one day soon a coffee shop will suddenly appear that dedicates itself to the art of making a genuine, perfectly executed cappuccino — one that is smooth and strong and where the foam stands at least two millimetres above the rim! Even so, I shall return to Café Nush. It’s a great place to hang out if you crave cosmopolitan company and ambience.

Deluxe Coffee Shop
4 Plates
Expect to spend between US$10 and US$18  for lunch
Vera Shopping Mall, Avondale Shopping Centre, Avondale, Harare.

was expecting. Vegetarians would be in heaven and the younger ones would be very happy too. I liked the menu, the layout, and the description of the food wasn’t too sophisticated (which was almost expected in a place with so much glass and chrome) but I did wonder whether the fare on offer might not be better suited to a family restaurant than an up-market deluxe café.
The food on offer, in reality, seemed to be rather a re-hash of every other have-a-go coffee-shop-cum-café in Harare, but with a few spicy options thrown in for good measure. I expected a bit more from this swanky joint. Some of these newer deluxe coffee shops wouldn’t go wrong in concentrating far more on perfecting an interesting range of coffees and offering an attractive assortment of top notch sweet delicacies and some interesting, imaginative light meals, rather than lots of the ubiquitous, uninspired full-blown meals — is burger and chips really necessary on the menu of a deluxe coffee shop? The plethora of restaurants in Avondale can quite easily fill that gap and serve lunch platters piled high with chips, leaving the coffee shops to do what they should be doing— perfecting the art of coffee making!
Café Nush promotes itself as a confectioner and there are more than enough delicious looking cakes filled with cream and dripping with chocolate from which to choose. I noticed a sign saying “In Association with Veldermeers” — the Belgian chocolatier of Arundel and Msasa. So, a cake or two (one of which boasted a real Belgian chocolate filling) from the confectionary cabinet (the éclairs were worth every illicit bite!), and a coffee finished off our lunch. The filtered coffee was hot and strong but the cappuccino was disappointingly feeble. I very much hope that one day soon a coffee shop will suddenly appear that dedicates itself to the art of making a genuine, perfectly executed cappuccino — one that is smooth and strong and where the foam stands at least two millimetres above the rim! Even so, I shall return to Café Nush. It’s a great place to hang out if you crave cosmopolitan company and ambience.

Deluxe Coffee Shop
4 Plates
Expect to spend between US$10 and US$18  for lunch
Vera Shopping Mall, Avondale Shopping Centre, Avondale, Harare.

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