Setting, Theme and Other Background Info
Found along Glenara Avenue (47 Glenara Ave), it is set atop a “hill” (used very loosely here), giving the impression that you are watching the world go by. It has an Italian fused with African theme going, the Italian can be felt in their menu and the African filters through some of their decor. You have the option of eating out in the open with overhanging trees or you can sit inside, this is a plus in my book as it gives your patrons the option of either being out in open enjoying our sunny weather or you can opt for the more private indoors feel. Personally I prefer inside as I am not a fan of insects and the like buzzing around my food. They have an outdoor children’s play area which makes it family friendly. Their staff wears the typical and boring black and white attire common in many restaurants. I love their location, you can see cars going by, people going about their business but you watch from a distance as if you are a spectator secluded from this busy world.
Ok, on to the problems; They do not maintain their green spaces. I am strong believer in order and neatness. If you are going have a green space at any establishment, maintain it. Do no let it overgrow or have patch of green and brown lawn. Their children’s play area looks a bit dodgy and made me wonder whether they have any procedures for sanitizing that space, after all children play there. Due to the inclined nature of the restaurant, they have stairs which lead to the tables but this was not ergonomically designed so there is a bit of stretching involved. I felt there is a lot of wasted space, they could extend their eating areas to accommodate more patrons. Another issue was bugs and flies, I understand we have a warm climate making it difficult to control such but it is not impossible. I do not enjoy sitting down for a meal and every few seconds I have to swat flies away. There is no real shade/cover on their open eating area which makes me wonder what they do during the rainy season. They also have these bead/reed curtains on the walk-way leading to their bathrooms, its kinda corny and out of place.
Menu and Food, you know the important stuff
Their menu offers some delicious sounding meals and pizzas (after all it is a pizzeria first and restaurant second). They have everything from salads, pastas to pizzas. They do however have a very narrow range of desserts of which the majority are boring. They have small descriptions of what each dish offers (always a plus in my book, patrons need to know what they are getting if they wish to try something new). The actual menu itself is well designed and extensive enough to offer a variety but not excess to the point of creating confusion. Now comes the ordering, the staff is rather relaxed, a bit too relaxed for my liking, I understand that it was a slow day (Sunday) with very few people there but service should always be stellar regardless of the number of patrons you are serving. They seem almost disinterested in their customers, I felt like I was an intruder instead of a valued customer. As is customary the waiter came to take our order for drinks which arrived in a very reasonable amount of time. He then took our meal order and informed us it would take 15 minutes but left nothing to appease my grumbling stomach while I waited for my meal. I always have issues with this, when people come to you for a meal, they arrive hungry you need to give them something to keep them comfortable while they wait, even if they do not eat it offer it still. It shows you are sensitive to the need of your patrons. So I ordered a seafood pizza, I wanted to try something new and unusual. It arrived in less than 15 minutes on a plain white pizza plate with accompanying plain white and somewhat tiny serving plates. The good thing was it was steaming hot, I had to wait a few minutes before I could dig in. Okay I cut away my first pizza piece and took a bite… It was very very very very salty. I figured I may have gotten a bad piece and finished that one and tried another one, no no no things did not change. I do not know if this is how a seafood pizza should taste but it was not friendly to my mouth. I could feel my tongue throwing a tantrum, crying its little tongue eyes out, clutching it tongue throat signalling “water, water”. I quit after those two slices. I doubt that any chef would intentionally add that much salt to anything, which made me assume that they probably use canned/tinned seafood instead of the fresh/frozen stuff. It may be canned in brine which would explain the saltiness. I mentioned this to our waiter but he seemed “unmoved by my experience, not to mention torture and instead produced the bill.
The food comes hot, I did not have the pleasure of trying out their other dishes. I am certain that my choice of seafood pizza was just that a bad choice and is no reflection of the nature of their other dishes. The set up is almost perfect with the exception of a lack of maintenance of green spaces and back pain inducing stairs.
What Could Be Better
Again, be warned.. I am picky.
Green spaces should be manicured and not unkempt, I get that I am in Zimbabwe, an African country but the bush should stay in they bush. Any children’s play area should be kept clean and sanitized that is a must in my opinion, no exceptions. They need to pick better desserts. It would be cool if they could personalize the pizza plates with the restaurant’s insignia. They need to lose that bead/reed curtain. Lastly they need to improve on their service, no matter that you have a few patrons, do not hold back on service. Ooh almost forgot… They need to remove the seafood pizza from the menu.
Overall experience; I liked the set-up. I liked the dishes on their menu, desserts being the exception. Service could be better. Its a lovely place to visit on a sunny afternoon and is child friendly. There is room for improvement.