I love having a quarter Piri Piri Chicken (has to be mild) and Chips for lunch over the weekend. I was first introduced to the dish when we lived in Umtali (Mutare) in the late 1960s when my folks would drive across the Mozambique border to
Vila de Manica. My dad would slowly sip a couple of Mozambique’s 2M or Laurentina lager beers whilst us kids all did back somersaults off of the 7-meter diving board into the large swimming pool alongside the restaurant. The Portuguese then (as they do now) seemed to know just how to grill the best piri piri chicken – I always loved it when the dish was sprinkled with a little too much Olive oil and the chips were crispy fresh.
In the mid-80s the most popular restaurant in Harare was da Guidos – situated in Montagu Shopping centre and run by a very charming Italian lady. The décor was as simple as can be – yet the food was worth queueing for me as happened almost every Sunday. I am sure most of you have heard the oft-quoted statement “Location, Location, Location is so important in business”. So today I was invited to the grand opening of the Tinkabells restaurant in Ballantyne Shopping centre. There were about 80 guests from all walks of life and restaurant owners, Rui and Jasmine Fonseca welcomed everyone with a very refreshing Gin & Tonic followed by an opening speech and popping of Balloons by popular MC Stan Higgins.
Rui and Jasmine have redone the décor in a much simpler and (I believe) more relaxed format – No TVs or loud music blaring whilst you engage in conversation with your partner. Today’s meal was a Buffet created to introduce the guests to the great spices that will be a regular addition to individual orders in the months to come – opens for business on Tuesday. I am sure that this will be a very popular venue for those of you that are, like me, partial to a tasty Piri Piri Chicken and chips. In my opinion that Tinkabells offers a very good alternative to the likes of da Guidos and some of the other popular Portuguese Chicken restaurants around our city. Yummy Mike G.