Anyone who has travelled up and down Samora Machel on a regular basis couldn’t fail to see Paula’s Place as it was born.
By le connoisseur
The Harare rumour mill was in full swing even before the grout on the white tiles on the façade had been applied.
The three waiters-cum-security personnel waiting at the entrance like sentries were friendly.
The dining area can only be described as a dining hall, en masse.
There was another area at the back which was more welcoming on the eye and in stark contrast to the squinting harsh whiteness of the main dining area.
The waiting staff were attentive, offering us a menu and bringing bread with two dipping sauces, almost immediately. We ordered two Deux-M beers and they came perfectly chilled and tasted wonderful.
The menu is very comprehensive and has everything you would expect, on the Afro-Portuguese side, plus other meat and fish dishes and salads.
We ordered calamari and chicken giblets as starters. The calamari was faultless in texture and taste, a truly delicious starter and perfect with the bite sized pieces of fresh bread.
Giblets aren’t my thing but my husband is a fan and he ate them with enthusiasm and enjoyed them.
The Deux-M was going down very nicely and we ordered two more to accompany our main course. There was a good choice of seafood on offer but we dutifully decided to stick with checking out the signature meal, in our reviewing role, and this being a speciality entrant.
Peri-peri chicken and chips enjoys a very enthusiastic following in Zimbabwe and this is evidently a popular spot to partake of these.
I wasn’t expecting such a huge piece of chicken when it came! The chicken was moist and the skin crispy with a mild hint of the hot stuff. Unfortunately, the disappointingly soggy chips let the main event down.
We were quite full by now, and only managed the lemon cheesecake between us, and it was fine, and the Dom Pedro and cappuccino we had after a little rest were a pleasing end to the meal.
At around US$15 to US$25 a head for a filling meal, Paula’s Place is good value, but in our view sadly void of authentic ambience.
Expect to spend US$15 to US$25 per head
314 Samora Machel Avenue, Harare