By Marianne Betts
Victoria Falls restaurants have a new edge, with something different cooking at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge!
New lunch and dinner menus have been introduced at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge’s MaKuwa-Kuwa Restaurant and Buffalo Bar which break ground by firmly featuring African, and particularly Zimbabwean, cuisine for the first time.
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge executive chef Simba Musiyiwa says many of the dishes to debut are those eaten in Zimbabwean homes, and while many old favourites have been retained, many of the sides have been tweaked, with local leafy greens introduced.
Instead of the usual vegetable accompaniments of spinach, broccoli and beans, traditional vegetables such as “ulude” or “nyevhe” (African spider flower leaves) and “ibhobola” or “muboora” (pumpkin leaves) are now being served.
Old favourites on the previous menu to remain include the roast butternut soup which has been the most popular starter, and others have been updated including much-loved dishes like the grilled sirloin steak, chicken parmigiana and pork belly.
However, much of the menu is new, with newcomers including oxtail with ulude/nyevhe and spicy pork trotter curry with isitshwala/sadza (a thick porridge made from ground maize that makes up the Zimbabwean staple diet).
For visitors wanting to sample quintessential Zimbabwean cuisine, Simba says the popular mixed “gango” skewer or the traditional “gango” should not be missed, while the “malagasy” is a great example of pan-African cuisine.
The gango skewer dish is made up of beef, chicken livers, gizzards and kidneys and is served with isitshwala/sadza and ulude/nyevhe, while the traditional gango is beef, chicken and boerewors served with chomolia, a isitshwala/sadza dumpling and tomato relish.
In addition to the standard menu, local seasonal offerings such as baobab smoothies, as well as bar snacks of roasted ground nuts and corn and pickled “magaka” – a local cucumber – will be served. Magaka have also replaced English and Lebanese cucumbers in salads.
“Our menus were very Westernised … we always tried to create dishes we thought international tourists would like but we won’t find who we are and what our culinary identity is, if we play it safe,” Simba says.
There is something for everyone on these new menus, which will run until the end of this year, with plenty of Western-style food, including an option to create your own pizzas, as well as a few traditional Zimbabwean dishes, with many being a blend of both.
A holiday to this iconic travel destination would not be complete without indulging in some local fare while dining in Victoria Falls restaurants.
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge’s MaKuwa-Kuwa Restaurant and Buffalo Bar are renowned for their panoramic views over a spectacular Zimbabwean landscape, and now this is matched by a new menu which also showcases the best of local.