Preserving Zimbabwean heritage at Gava’s
By Ropafadzo Mapimhidze
A people’s food always speaks volumes of that same people.
The above statement; put in the context of Gava’s restaurant in Belgravia puts things into perspective in as far as Zimbabwean cuisine is concerned.
Located at Belgravia Sports Club, off Second Street Gava Restaurant has gained fame and is fast becoming the premier eating joint for Zimbabwe’s traditional dishes.
It is authentically different and offers typical local dishes from meats to starches that have created its clientele from people from all walks of life.
A recent visit to the restaurant on a Friday around lunch time was just a spectacle as food lovers descended at the restaurant and ordered the various dishes on the menu.
The menu is one that entices meat lovers with varied cuts of beef, lamb, goat, pork and chicken all on one plate.
Chicken dishes in particular have stolen the limelight as some of the restaurant’s competitors often rip off customers with off layers whose meat is stiff and often bland depending on the age of the bird.
Road runners and guinea fowl sourced from traditional villages around the city have proven to the most popular dishes at the joint according to the staff.
Other dishes on the menu include liver and kidney; goat stew, beef stew, chicken stew, offals (maguru) oxtail, Gava’s Sampler which is a three in one dish comprising vegetarian, half chicken and sadza, t-bone, Kariba bream, chicken salad and a wide selection of beers, soft drinks, whisky, brandy and many more.
Allen Gava, proprietor of the joint is often seen moving from one table to another socializing with clients.
“This restaurant was born out of trying to uplift traditional foodstuffs in Zimbabwe. As a well-travelled person who also enjoys eating out, I decided to bring tasty food which competes favourably with other food outlets,” said Gava.
Traditional food is often associated with filthy eating spaces in down dingy spots but Gava Restaurant is a joint that attracts people from all races and classes while it maintains a simple aura.
“We also get hanga and road runners from various villages in Mt Darwin every week.” said Gava.
“Part of the success is built on the belief of three Cs and these are consistency, commitment and conviction that guide us to bring the best service to clients. We want to give the best to our patrons and as you can see for yourself, we are fully packed from lunch time.”
In just three years, the restaurant has also become a prime spot for weekend outings.
As a way of preserving Zimbabwean heritage, Gava said he would lobby relevant authorities to introduce local foods in subjects like Food and Nutrition in schools.
“I see no reason why our children are being taught how to cook foodstuffs from other cultures which have created so many non con-communicable diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure when we have foods that can prevent that,” he said.
Bookings for meals and tables at the restaurant can be made online on firstname.lastname@example.org.