Picobello's Birthday Friday

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Over my Africa Day weekend, there were loads of birthday dos to attend. None was more important than that of my brother, who turned 25. Happy Birthday again T! We had been planning his day for a week or more and decided on inviting his friends to Picobello’s for drinks at 6pm and a meal at 7pm. The added bonus being that it was still Harare Restaurant Week.

I got there with my BFF (who was invited as my plus one) just before 7pm, with the birthday cake hidden in the car and approached one of the waiters to discreetly carry it into their kitchens. On giving him very detailed instructions and pointing out my brother to him, we headed to the rest of the group who were milling around at the bar. Picobello’s is tastefully decorated, with the flowing open plan space a testament to great architectural imagination/ creativity and has become somewhere I enjoy being often in the last few months. It’s location on Glenara Road places it near the urban hubs of Newlands and within close proximity of home in Chisipite.

On previous occasions, service and food has been fantastic, however this time round there was a lot of confusion on the part of the waiters and in the kitchen itself.

It started when I asked the waiter to show us to our table. He roughly waved to a table and quickly scooted off. Now with a group of 12 people, we really were going to need escorting to our table in order to abandon that fully stocked bar! So the birthday boy himself had to look for another waiter and diplomatically request him to take him to our table. Once seated, we waited a little while for our waiter to come and take our orders and his blank stare really didn’t inspire confidence. True to form, he showed up with a glass at a time and returned to enquire if it was white or red wine one of the guests had asked for. All this with a pen and writing pad in his hand. To finally end up with food on the table, we had to do a hand count when the waiter came back to ask me, completely lost as to who had ordered what.

dessertAs for the food itself, we ordered from the normal menu and the HRW Menu. They had run out of calamari so we had to order alternatives such as fried cheese (not halloumi mind you), chicken wings or the nacho platter. They discovered one serving of calamari at least and they tasted good as they should, however the chicken wings were rather charred. Main courses were overall rather average, with the quesadillas that my plus one ordered especially yummy, so much so that my fork lived in her plate... The mango chicken was rather tough and could have done with more cooking or a better grade of chicken breast used. The Beef Tagliata was a few potatoes and a few cuts of beef, although we had been expecting pasta.  Desserts of Ice Cream Truffle and Chocolate Mousse were much of the same, with yet more confusion over who ordered what and nothing new to my tastebuds.

We topped that off with a birthday cake for the birthday boy with the Arsenal logo on it (or as his friends put it ‘A Big Zero’ on the middle of his cake).


In all fairness, I think Picobello’s simply struggled with the large numbers that came through the doors during Restaurant Week, and I would still rate it as one of the best, on the occasions I have been there.

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