Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What happened to my Mushroom Sauce?

It never fails to amaze me how many new restaurants start up with all the ingredients of success, only to be mystified when things start to go wrong for no apparant reason. Its a simple case of Where is my Mushroom Sauce?

It happens in most restaurants, an item not available, marrow bones missing from the soup, no salad dressing. The Boma at Hillside Dams, is set in one of the prettiest settings you have yet to find. The Restaurant is delightful. Water in the dams, ducks on the water, people clinking glasses and enjoying the sun and no sign of stress or irritation. My favourite dish here is a lovely Chicken Schnitzel with the most delicious Mushroom Sauce you have ever tasted. It would be of course, considering the Chef there is Silwood trained and my Son ! So you can appreciate it that when the Schnitzel arrives sans Mushroom Sauce there is great disappointment. Its these little things that catch restaurants behind the knees!

I did enquire where the sauce was and was told `the mushrooms are only coming tomorrow' - what did they miss the bus?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Who's New in the Restaurant Zoo

Went to a very interesting meeting this morning with two lovely `lads' who will be running Rodney Broombergs up and comming Bed and Breakfast. Never underestimate the power of rolling green lawns and a fabulous sun lounge. Mark and Paul have been in the restaurant world for years, running Bon Journee which was recently sold. Now, for those of you who just turned their noses up at the thought of Bon Journee being part of the restaurant world - you try and get a table there on a Friday night - pretttttty busy!

Anyway the boys are going to make their mark with Sondela and the first thing they plan to do is host the monthly Travel Lunch next week - so watch this space!

Happy eating

Monday, July 20, 2009

We were invited out on Friday night - good friends taking us to an old restaurant which had started to feel very jaded. Zimbabwean times catching up with even the best fine dining restaurant had taken their toll! Anyway with good grace we agreed to go, which was
a good thing as it turned out to be a surprise dinner party for my upcoming birthday which the Good Friend wouldnt be here for.

Lovely surprise though, same old decor, nice new Front of House Manager and great new menu. New Orleans in Hillside is somewhere to go again with the reassurance of a decent meal. They are even advertising a Pub Lunch on a Friday - badly done on a childs blackboard jammed on the side of the road - but a Pub Lunch no less. Its been ages since someone advertised something like this and good for Bulawayo who will of course support it - just once if its bad but regularly if its good. No second chances with this crowd. I remember asking someone about food at a popular hotel in Victoria Falls. She said it was terrible, I asked how long ago she was there and she replied - 5 years ago. Now five years is a very very long time to have a reputation for having BAD food !

Eat Well

Who would have thought that changing a carpet would make such a huge difference to the look of a restaurant - especially one that looks out onto an unkempt race track long past its sell-by date! Well THEE COFFEE SHOPPE at Ascot Race Track in Bulawayo did just that and it looks like a million bucks now!! Eating out is not about the food - anyone who eats out can tell you that one for free. Its about the location, the buzz, the social interaction and above all the `Trend'. Which restaurant will we eat in today, who will we see - more importantly who will see us.

Anyone living in Bulawayo will know that restaurants are on the up - its a cafe culture that is growing fast and every week you hear about someone who has or soon will be opening up a little munch spot. Anyone living in Bulawayo will also know that there are just not enough people to support all these places so its a bit like a lottery. Do we feel like Chicken Breasts with Salad done with the special kind of marinade that makes Thee Coffee Shoppe famous, or will it be Chicken Liver and Chips, the signature dish as The River Cafe. Will we brush shoulders with the Tea Ladies every Wednesday or wait for the Bulawayo's finest on a Sunday at The Hillside Dams Boma.

Whatever your choice - watch this spot - I eat out a lot !