Thursday, August 29, 2013

Victoria Falls Zimbabwe: Dinner At The Palm Restaurant at Ilala Lodge Hotel

Having bumped into Amy, a lovely young business analyst from Sydney visiting South Africa to take a course, we enjoyed wandering with her around the Rainforest, the park viewing site for Victoria Falls.
While there, a UN tourism conference approved guide (note his badge) seemed strangely eager to have his photo taken with her. We're sure it will soon be adorning his trip album.
We made a dinner reservation for 7:00 p.m. at the well-regarded Palm Restaurant at Ilala Lodge Hotel and slowly strolled up and down the quiet streets of downtown Victoria Falls for an hour. We found a fairly crowded supermarket where Amy picked up a six-pack of Diet Coke, paying $6 or a buck a can. How can the locals afford it? Do they have separate prices in the scanners for tourists? We'll never know.

Once back at the Illala Lodge, we enjoyed a leisurely dinner out on the Colonial terrace. This was more of the quality of food and presentation that the JNB Intercontinental had promised but failed to deliver the previous night.

We started with appetizers, including a vegetable spring roll for Kathy...

Amy and Brian both chose the vegetarian meatballs (lentils) in a marinara-type sauce.
Our tasty appetizers were followed by mains of a beef salad for Amy, the chicken special for Kathy, and a vegetarian Indian-style melange for Brian, all delicious and in large portions we couldn't complete.

Amy tried a baklava from the interesting assortment (Brian couldn't convince her to try the peanut brittle and cranberry concoction) and pronounced it as okay but nothing special, and not worth the calories.
Still, the presentation was attractive and the whole evening was really enjoyable for us. Incidentally, the total bill for this "splurge" meal, including a glass of the house wine for Brian and Kathy, and a Zero Coke, for Amy came to just over a hundred dollars, good value from our point of view for very good food and attentive service in a lovely colonial-style setting.

The taxi back to the hotel only set us back ten bucks, and we said our good-nights to Amy before retreating to our own room to find the mosquito netting already deployed for bedtime.

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