Great Wall is a popular Chinese food restaurant located on East Road, Belgravia.
By Le connoisseur
We made an early dinner booking to avoid the prime-time crush. We arrived just after 6pm and were led to our table, which provided a great view of the dining area.
The restaurant is beautiful with a lovely thatched roof. There are many windows through which we could see a children’s play area with a swing and see-saw, and the dining area on the veranda.
The restaurant is simply furnished with wooden chairs and tables. The walls are adorned with decorative tablets that have Chinese writing and drawings on them. There are a couple of large paintings, a beatific Buddha sits on the bar and some wrought iron butterflies seem to be taking flight off the rear wall.
The waiter brought the menus and took our drinks order, a glass of rosé and a coke, and we studied the menu, a veritable tome, with so much to offer.
There are soups and starters, a variety of beef, chicken, lamb, seafood, pork, vegetable and fish dishes, then there are your rice and noodle dishes, and finally desserts and hot beverages.
There was so much delicious sounding food I got slightly overwhelmed! I decided to start with wonton soup and my partner opted for spring rolls.
For our main course we were advised to opt for one starch, as it is such a large portion. We were tempted by chow mein but decided to try the spicy fried rice instead. We ordered stir-fried vegetables in oyster sauce to share.
I went with the popular sweet and sour chicken with pineapple and my friend chose the crispy prawns.
My wonton soup arrived first and I dug right in as I didn’t want it going cold. It was delicious, a light soup with dumplings, noodles and meatballs. The meatballs were tender and full of flavour.
My partner’s spring rolls eventually arrived and were tasty, served with sweet and sour sauce and filled with chicken and vegetables.
While waiting for our main courses, we studied the other diners.
This is definitely a family-friendly restaurant with babies and toddlers welcome. It’s perfect for a large family outing as they have some big tables that can accommodate large numbers.
Our mains arrived and I knew immediately that I would need a take-away box! The servings were huge. The food comes on communal platters and each diner has a plate on which to dish a little bit of everything.
The spicy fried rice contained chopped carrots, broccoli and red chillies. The stir-fried vegetables included broccoli, cauliflower, onions and carrots in a dark oyster sauce. This was my favourite dish. The crispy prawns were served without sauce and therefore a tad dry. However, the flavour was delicious.
The sweet and sour chicken with pineapple was also tasty and very filling. After a few bites I knew I should not eat any more because I really wanted space for dessert — mine, bowties and ice-cream and my partner’s, pan-grilled bananas and ice-cream.
We also ordered a pot of Chinese tea, the least strong tea I have ever tried, but very refreshing.
Patrons wait for free tables at Great wall
While waiting for desserts we noticed several patrons standing around giving us weird looks. We then realised a number of diners were waiting for tables and we seemed to be holding them up by “idly” chatting over our tea — quite disconcerting!
Our desserts arrived and mine was exquisite, the bowties crispy, and covered in warm syrup. The pan-grilled bananas could easily have fed two people, and were also very good.
The desserts and Chinese tea went very well together and we enjoyed the food immensely. However, we felt we had to pay our bill and leave hastily as there were some obviously impatient clients still waiting for tables!
Expect to spend US$15 to US$30 per head
94 East Road, Avondale, Harare