I read your article on your blog about all the restaurants that have mostly now closed in Harare. Your article invoked very fond memories.
My family moved to Harare when I was 5 years old - my father was Dutch, he was head chef at the Park Lane Hotel (Kiya Nyama), in the early 1960's. I don't remember how many years he worked there, because he started his own catering company after that.
We would frequent an Italian restaurant - run in a house in the suburbs - I don't know the name, but it was the first time that I ate pasta. Also the only place I ate pasta until I was in my 20's. We also frequented the Golden Dragon, run by 'Tommy', at the bottom of the block of flats, 'Trafalgar Court.' I'll never forget the music they played. Tommy would go to Hong Kong to buy the tapes. Chinese versions of English and American songs. One song that stands out in particular is 'Tiny Bubbles'. Imagine that sung in Chinese! Of course being a chef, my dad knew all the foreign chefs in town, so introduced me to all sorts of food, including Indian and African. He was friendly with the Makris family, who ran the wholesale fruit and veg market, and the Lobel family, the bakers.
One of our favorite breakfast spots was 'The Egg & I', a couple of doors down from the Windsor Hotel. Further down the road was a cafe run by a Greek. Don't remember the name, but the clientele was very international. It was on the ground floor of the building where my dentist was. I remember stimulating conversations with Greeks, Swedes, Italians, all sorts of people you wouldn't come across anywhere else. And thick, black coffee. Really thick black coffee.
I left Zim in 1978 at the age of 18. Although I have visited South Africa numerous times since then, I only ever went back to Zim once when I was 20.
I'll be visiting SA with my family next year, and plan on going back to Harare.
Are there any restaurants worth visiting, but most importantly, are there any of the old haunts that are still around
I don't have any contacts left in Zim. Both my parents have passed away, and I now live in the US.
I'd appreciate any local knowledge.