Taking Out My Choppers With Robert Mukondiwa
Great food needs a great day to be consumed.
Let your choppers really sink into the food with no worries in the world and counting the “mandated” at least 20 chews of food per mouthful without chasing the clock in this hectic world of work in which we live.
And so I decided a Saturday morning breakfast was the way to go with a female colleague to whom I sworn by Jesus’ middle name that I would never reveal I had gone out with for that breakfast meeting and another with a sweet car (I shall not call it old) that has more memories than Cecil John Rhodes and Leander Starr Jameson and the entire rag-tag of colony whom I shall name Robin.
But I digress somewhat.
Well anyway, so it was that we went on a sunny autumnal morning although it was actually the spring side off winter, to Queen of Hearts Café and Bakery in Highlands. The environment was immediately warm and welcoming. And for many who know me, that is half the job done by any restaurant and I feel entirely at home.
I was also pleased to see that there was quite a sizeable number of people, including families with toddlers, who had come round in informal clothing for breakfast. That was a good sign. They looked casual as regulars so that meant an endorsement of the meals there. You see, the Americans would not have invaded Iraq and Libya if their major world export was broccoli. Nobody wastes time on the worthless so there definitely must be something worth the while about this place.
I quickly ordered a Tanganda tea (my favourite) to beat the slight chill as well as the full English breakfast. You would have thought I would be terribly adventurous but I chose not to. Not this time. Breakfast is sometimes best taken missionary, errr, style like in the olden days. It is good that way no less.
The colleague; she-whom-should-not-be-named decided upon an omelette with her finest selection off the menu of the freshest accompaniments. And you thought I was boring. An omelette? Really! That and a bit of espresso for her and robin, who also went the way of an English breakfast.
Well served and delightful to the eye came an English breakfast like no other. However, having been a regular at the Bellhouse Hotel for breakfast in Beaconsfield, I yearned to see whole boiled plum tomatoes and sautéed field or button mushrooms but alas. Yet the full Monty is terribly varied so you can always expect serious variations. The hash browns were a tad oily but then again, it is a hash brown; and I am not making excuses for them no-siree Bob!
The tea on the other hand was about as muscle as a baby slug. No power at all! It also looked sadly pale especially when milk was added to it to look like a puddle after the rain in Mvurwi. My diagnosis? Too much water and just one tea bag. No rocket science there.
With the breeze going round, and cold milk, whatever beverage I was having became awfully dismal. The lady behind us had to summon the waiter and have her milk taken back and swapped for warm milk. You think they’d notice the winter weather and try and adjust, or at least ask without assuming milk from the arctic is what everyone wants.
So there. Good food and awful tea. My solution? Since they wanted to give it cold, I then ordered an ice tea to finish off my meal.
It came. And I poured it down my throat pretty fast for it too did not have the desired amount of tea in the taste nor the lemon. Pretty much something you’d have in a ‘guess the flavour’ contest.
Final solution? Beer. And the Castle Lite came and ended my woes.
Robin would not have the rest of her meal although she conceded it was delightful. Not wanting to end up like the pork sausage in her plate she had started on a dieting regime. I happily obliged to eating the rest of her food; which was no problem because it was awesome and well prepared goodness for my tummy.
She-who-should-not-be-named however had an awful meal. Apparently the white queen. Lot’s wife, must also have been employed as one of the QUEENS in the kitchen. Her omelette, apparently was too salty for her liking!
“The chef says they never put salt and any salt comes from the ingredients’ said the rather boring waiter. I did not buy that. But then again this is Zimbabwe and who wants to take the blame when they ought to? Especially in service delivery?
So I concluded that it must have been the fault of she-who-must-not-be-named’s palate and taste buds and she perhaps should apologising to the poor restaurant for ever questioning their seasoning of the omelettes. At 1230 it was a wee bit too early for drama so we sat and basked in the sun.
She swapped it for something that I was not too keen on following and all I could think of was the great beer to wash away the great food. Verdict? The food is great. The ambience to kill for. The band that played on our way out was awesome. The omelette is great (but your taste buds are to blame) and the tea is best never taken.
If the Queen Of Hearts plays her cards right and also fires Lot’s wife from the kitchen, I will definitely be back at least to see if this was a one-time half-satisfying visit. I saw more than potential.
The Queen of Hearts Cafe, 1 Hurworth Road, Highlands.