Cultures Resort: First traditional cuisine eatery

Nyore Madzianike

FOOD forms a major part of every culture, and every community has a particular delicacy that defines it as a people.

It is rare to find a place that combines the unparalleled food, service and atmosphere that cater for different people and cultures.

Zimbabwe prides herself in many different ways with being host to a perfect tourism destination, and a safe home to people from many countries across the world, among other things.

The country’s hospitality industry has grown immensely over the years, with many professionals having been born to cater for visitors and those, who, often-times, decide to be permanent residents.

It is through this hospitality that people from other nations can afford to dine, wine and have food of their choice at any given time.

Many people from the greater part of East Africa enjoy a nyama choma delicacy, which forms part of their tradition, and has proved to be a key element at their festivities.

In Tanzania nyama choma has become a celebrated event where thousands of revellers come together on a quarterly basis to sample some of the best barbecues on offer.

Traditionally, Kenyans and Rwandans love meat, especially grilled meat, served on skewers.

Pilaf or pilau is a mouth-watering rice dish cooked in broth, seasoned with oriental spices and mainly sold in pubs where people meet to socialise, share drinks and eat.

The meat is usually served with grilled bananas or potatoes spiced with some sauce and, is commonly found in the Swahili region of Africa.

People from Malaysia love chapati, an unleavened flat bread whose origins can be traced to native Asian countries. It is made from whole wheat flour, water and salt.

It is not a secret that people from West Africa resident in Zimbabwe love their jollof rice, also known as benachin. This is a dish made from rice, tomatoes, onions, cooking oil, goat meat or beef and usually loved particularly by Nigerians.

The quest to accord people from across Africa a chance to enjoy their traditional delicacies while they are thousands of miles away from their homes, has given birth to Cultures Resort in Harare.

Located along Chiremba Road – another route to the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport and the mighty balancing rocks – Cultures Resort, prides itself in offering one of the best traditional African cuisines and cultural safari.

The place comprises a thatched restaurant, bar and a bird’s eye flowing stream view that gives a relaxing environment.

Headed by a chef with more than 35 years of kitchen experience working around the African continent, serving celebrities and influential people, Cultures Resort is a proud provider of an exquisite traditional cookery.

Manager and head chef at the food outlet, Kumbirai Gumbochuma puts his own touch of knowledge and vast background in the food and hospitality industry to the services Cultures Resort offers its clients. Also backed by a dedicated team that takes pride in what it does, Gumbochuma’s dishes are desired by many people, who always return for more.

“We pride ourselves in being the first outlet to serve traditional cuisine that includes dishes from various countries,” said Gumbochuma.

“These include nyama yambuzi choma, pilau, jollof rice, chapati and many other African traditional dishes.

“We also offer tsomba with millet pap for people from Malawi. There are also other dishes that are prepared upon specific instructions and recipes from our clients. These will be exclusively prepared by our experienced chefs.

“Our food is served on hot cast iron plates and stews in three-legged pots, coming to your table sizzling hot. We serve traditional food from most countries across Africa. These dishes are prepared on request, although some of the food will be readily available for regulars.

“Cultures Resort’s chefs have been recruited specifically to prepare dishes mostly from outside Zimbabwe though traditional dishes for locals that range from sadza rezviyo, goat meat and other traditional dishes, will be made available on request,” he said.

The renowned chef said the dishes are accompanied by entertainment from various traditional music players drawn from across the region. He said the musicians perform at their eatery on selected days during week days and on every weekends.

“Our entertainment includes live mbira, traditional dances and music from a spectrum of African countries,” he said.

Gumbochuma said they source their ingredients from Zimbabwe’s rural and farming areas and import some from other African countries.

“There are a lot of people, who originated from other countries and are settled on farm lands around the country.

“These people trade their crops at various markets around the country with Mbare Musika being the largest place where almost all the ingredients are found.

“Some, however, are rarely found on these markets which we normally import,” he said.

Gumbochuma said Cultures Resort was now home to most students from various schools and tertiary institutions in Harare.

“What is also interesting is that some locals come here to have a taste of traditional dishes from other countries. The bulk of our clients are expatriates and students, who pass by this place to enjoy their respective countries’ traditional dishes,” he added.

The place caters for about 250 guests at a time.

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