My table is nicely sheltered away from the winter chill as they have their clear tarpaulin covers down which, luckily, still allow me to get some sunshine. My table is covered by a dark green tablecloth which mirrors the surroundings. True to the ‘eco’ facet of their name, green is the overriding colour scheme of the coffee shop.
Louise Loades, the Head Chef and co-founder, gives me an insight into why they chose “Eve” for the name. She explains that it is derived from the classic Biblical story of Adam and Eve who resided in the Garden of Eden. It is clear that they have integrated the beauty of Eden into their own garden, successfully at that.
Loades also explains that they have designed Eve’s “trying to keep it under God’s hand.” It is simply, yet beautifully put and shows her passion for the place. Biblical elements also feature in the first page of the menu as it quotes Psalm 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God.”
It is difficult to decide what to order with tantalising phrases such as “Hot Chilli Mango” and “Lemon Express” jumping off the page, but eventually I make my choice. Sticking to coffee shops’ worldwide staple, I start with a cappuccino, hoping for bucket loads of foam and something fun sprinkled on top – as well as a cup large enough to harness my need for my morning hit of caffeine. It’s a little early for something as sweet as the chocolate cake, so I opt rather for the healthy-sounding carrot cake.
I observe that the menu is noticeably filled with wholesome food and drinks, which tie in perfectly with the Eco themed coffee shop. Loades explains to me that they try to incorporate as healthy food and drinks as possible into the menu, to compliment the adjoining Centre For Healthy Living. Everything is baked from scratch, and made with fresh and healthy ingredients. It can, therefore, be said that Eve’s would be the perfect stopover after one of many various health treatments at The Centre.
While waiting for my order, I speak to two ladies next to me who seem to be enjoying their mid-morning coffee. When I ask them what it is that most draws them to dine at Eve’s, the first lady Rozanne says that it is the “relaxing atmosphere”. The second woman, Angie says that it is the lush garden and healthy food. Their preferred order is whatever savoury muffin is being served that day. At that point I was hoping I hadn’t made the wrong choice.
To my joy, the carrot cake does not disappoint and it is topped off with a cream cheese icing, shaved nuts and sprinkled lightly with icing sugar. The cake itself is rich, moist, and although it’s contents certainly are wholesome, it deceives you into thinking you have yourself an unhealthy, sneaky treat. Basically, it’s delicious - the perfect blend of sweet and savoury. The Manager Portia tells me that the carrot cake is the most popular “Teatime Temptation” (as per the menu). I can definitely see why that is so and relieved I made the right choice.
The cappuccino does not disappoint either, the cup is medium-sized and while it does have a generous amount of foam, it doesn’t have sprinkles. However, making up for the lack of sprinkles and accompanying the cup are three melt-in-your-mouth biscuits cut in the shape of hearts and butterflies.
All in all, I have much enjoyed my light meal and definitely understand the appeal to Eve’s Garden. The entire meal came up to $6, a fair price for quality. As an added bonus I notice that they have a ZOL Hotspot and weekdays they’re open for the lengthy period of 7.30am to 4.00pm – how’s that for convenience? To top it off, Loades explains to me that Eve’s is about to be the host of it’s second wedding. While it can only house events of this nature for 100 people or less, it is easy to see why it would be a perfect spot for your special day.
Eve’s Garden Eco Café can be found at 5 Hurworth Rd, Highlands, Harare. Visit their menu online at www.eatout.co.zw.