Christopher Farai Charamba
One of my favourite foods is peanut butter rice. Since I was a young boy I have been smitten over this starch delicacy. They say a child will always have affection for their mother’s cooking but when it comes to peanut butter rice I’d say my grandmother take first place.
Unfortunately, one does not have the luxury to seek out their grandmother or mother when the craving for such a meal hits and so an alternative has to be sought.
One such place where I have managed to indulge in this and other Zimbabwean cuisines is Gava’s Restaurant at Belgravia Sports Club in Harare.
To accompany my favourite starch, I always opt for the Gava sampler which allows one to choose three of the stews off the menu. My selection often includes, oxtail, hanga and pork bones. The meal also comes with sugar beans, another favourite of mine, and green vegetables.
All the meals are fresh and hot, if you’re unprepared you’re likely to scald your fingers. The smoked taste in some of the stews makes one believe that they are made over a fire.
The meats are tender and succulent and slide easily of the bone and make for easy chewing. The stews are well prepared and will have the most modest of individuals salivating at the mouth and licking their fingers when they are done.
For those who aficionados of peanut butter rice like myself, there is an option of other starches to choose from such as white sadza, sadzarezviyo and fresh chips.
Should one not be in the mood for a stew, there are other flame grilled meat options to choose from; both chicken, sausage and chops. Those with a biggest appetites can actually order all three from the menu should they select the MutongiGava, a monster of a meal, especially with sadza.
Gava provides the taste of home away from home. With outdoor seating under a marquee on the lawn at the Sports Club, Gava is a perfect spot for a family outing.
One of my favourite days to head over to this restaurant is Sunday. Each week on Sunday Gava’s Restaurant is graced by local artists who provide live music to the dining guest.
There is no cover charge and while one enjoys their meal they get to equally appreciate the sounds from some of Zimbabwe’s top afro and jazz artistes, the likes of Bob Nyabinde, Africherry, Alexio Kawara, Sam Dondo, TariroNeGitare, Victor Kunonga and one of my personal favourite Hope Masike.
While the adults sit and chat, the kids can run around on the lawn or exhaust themselves on the jumping castle.
I guarantee that for many your Sundays will never be the same again and you will find yourselves regulars at Gava’s. On days where the thought of standing in the kitchen is tiring then Gava’s is the place you should take yourself.
Good food, a clean and jovial environment and friendly wait staff this restaurant offers the best in Zimbabwean hospitality and is a great place not only for Sunday lunch but midweek as well.
If you have business associates who you’d like to give a taste of authentically African cuisine, then Gava’s is the place to go. And make sure you order the peanut butter rice!