Set in the beautiful bush that surrounds the Victoria Falls, overlooking a watering hole to attract the wildlife, is the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, home to the majestic Makuwa-Kuwa Restaurant. The restaurant itself is nestled in the middle of the main thatched building, which has the most spectacular views of the game-friendly watering hole where animals such as elephants, buffalo, impala, kudu, warthog and waterbuck, to name a few, can be seen drinking as you sip your sundowner or tuck into your food.
The décor in the restaurant gives it a luxurious, African adventure feel, and the ambiance hints at a place where you can unwind and leave all your troubles at the entrance. The lodge is in the process of being re-thatched. They have done a highly commendable job of not letting this diminish the enjoyment of the clientèle or hinder the smooth running of the establishment in any way. These refurbishments did not detract at all from our enjoyment of this wonderful setting.
The design of the hotel maximises its wonderful position overlooking the plain and waterhole, while minimising its disruption to the environment, a feat for which it deserves the highest accolade.
The updated décor of the Makuwa-Kuwa dining room gives it a rustic African feel, which is well suited to their theme. The lodge, dining and bar area and bathroom were all clean and orderly. The ladies bathroom however, had no hand towels.
On this particular evening we arrived a little shy of our booked time of 7pm, so that we could relax and enjoy our surroundings. However, on arrival at the restaurant entrance, a waiter advised us that we could not be seated for precisely another nine minutes. So we moved downstairs to fill that time and then we made our way back to the dining room and were greeted courteously by another waiter, who ushered us to our table and presented us with menus.
Dinner started on a pleasing note with a complimentary tuna amuse bouche which well-teased the taste buds. When spoilt for choice by so many wonderful options, choosing is not one of my strong points! So I took quite a while to study the menu and make up my mind. Though not planning to have wine that night, we studied the wine list too, which was excellent and had a very wide range of choices available.
To start, I eventually settled on the butternut soup which was not only tasty but textually pleasing too, the pumpkin seeds adding a different texture in an appealing way. My partner selected the MKK hors d’oeuvres, which looked almost too good to eat, but were a little disappointing taste-wise. Starters were followed by the very pleasing touch of a guava sorbet to clean and refresh the palate. Our meals throughout the evening were presented beautifully and very attractive to the eye.
Then came the main courses. The lamb shank was beautifully tender, although slightly burnt on one side; I thoroughly enjoyed the minted mashed potatoes that accompanied it. The kingklip with bacon and prawns was delicious but maybe a little overdone, we thought. I had a taste of this, my partner’s choice and personally found the grapefruit hollandaise sauce a little overwhelming too.
|Fast facts about Makuwa Kuwa:|
|Location||Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, 4km from Victoria Falls Rainforest|
|Menu||A la Carte|
|Information on the Restaurant||Split level
In between our mains and desserts we were lucky enough to see a small herd of buffalo slowly meander their way to the watering hole, a enjoyable sight that pleased us to no end. For dessert we decided to try the asssiette of winter desserts and the lemon cheesecake, both of which looked absolutely spectacular on their respective plates.
During the evening we were privileged to listen to the resident acapella choir which seemed to bring the whole evening together with their beautiful African singing. Through the course of our meal our waiter Owen was polite without being over the top — something my partner and I really appreciated. He was pleasant and courteous all evening and served everything in a very timely manner. It must be noted however that no senior staff member or manager visited our table at any time to find out how our meal was going. This is something one does expect in a luxury restaurant of this nature.
Altogether I felt blessed to be in such a special place, surrounded by luxury and with a very special person, and would do it again in a heartbeat. Notwithstanding that some of our food was not quite as good as it looked and sounded when we tasted it, we really enjoyed our evening in this lovely setting, as a whole.
Date: 28 July 2013