Lockdown has affected almost every aspect of our lives in Harare and across the globe. For the food lover and lifestyle appreciator our new reality is certainly taking some adjusting to get used too. One of my favourite weekly activities is eating out and experiencing new culinary experiences. Sitting in at restaurant and exclusive events might be on hold for now but that does not mean your taste buds have to suffer too. Most Harare restaurants do have takeaways and deliveries available to help us foodies get through the tough times. This time, has also been an opportunity for innovation and the Venue Avondale is determined to continue offering their unique culinary offerings and true to their brand ethos, of bespoke and distinct offerings. “Restaurant in a Box” is a distinctive and tantalising concept offering a new at home experience for the foodie.



The Venue over the years has certainly positioned itself as a cutting edge, exclusive and passionate team certainly setting the standard in the industry . I recall in 2014 covering the stylish “Venue” for the Teapot Zimbabwe. Over the years, their custom events have also been associated with their delicious meals crafted under the watchful eye of Chef Fraser. True food lovers would know the attention to detail, the vibrant flavours and impeccable service The Venue is renowned for. So naturally, when the team launched” Restaurant in a Box”, I was eager to experience it and share it all with you too.


Rekindling my love for good food was needed after God knows how many days under lockdown. Spoiling ourselves occasionally is just what we need to keep us feeling happier in these unprecedented times. With a new menu every week , I was quite keen to explore the 3 course offering . There are 2 options for each course – Starter, main and dessert. “Dinners” select one that speaks to them and it also inclusive of a healthy sourdough loaf of bread from Rise Artisanal Bakery. Yummy !

With my order in on the Wednesday for a Friday delivery, I eagerly anticipated my weekend box pick up. For me, I was lucky to get mine delivered and the stylish minimalistic box is an alluring way to receive your 3 courses.



Filled with intrigue , unpackaging my box was a pleasant surprise with so many different elements and prepared ingredients to enjoy unboxing . More importantly, a special custom note is found in the box detailing how to plate and warm each course. Details…

For the individual not familiar with the kitchen this might seem like a tremendous task but it actually is a manageable and adventurous task. The first course of “Roast Butternut Soup” was an easy prep as all you had to do was warm up the soup. The soup was wholesome and delicious and for me the only missing item was wallop of fresh cream { I love fresh cream}.

The frist course, was followed by a second course of “Lamb and Pea Pappardelle” which was had more steps to follow than the first course. The freshly made pasta was a true treat because at this point –store bought is not as tasty. I encountered a few interesting moments and hiccups on deciding at what point to add the puree and pesto. I definitely recommend reading the steps with an eagle eye.


I must say its pretty handy preparing a meal without having to keep chopping and doing the more painful aspects of cooking. All ingredients are prepped and packaged individually which is a true pleasure. Plating was very entertaining and I have found a new appreciation for the craftsmanship Chefs’ place in their presentation. My kitchen immediately was occupied with laughter at my attempt of being Zimbabwe’s next Nigella mets Ramsay.

Plating humour aside , the flavours were stimulating and a burst of unexpected nuances. A favourite for me , was the lemon salsa which completed the dish. The portion size was also very fair and there was enough to share. This course certainly brought the restaurant home to my house .

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To end it all and saving the best for last, was a dessert consisting of Beetroot Panna Cotta. For me, beetroot has always been an exciting vegetable to experiment with when it comes to dessert. This dessert was the best way to end my experience and was beautifully prepared. Aside from my hot water deplating issue [ see video] – it was a true treat!



With the Venue perfecting their offering over the coming weeks, the concept is not just cutting edge but suited for the foodie wanting to bring something extra to their home. The plating process is an adventure not to scare those unfamiliar with the kitchen . While we wont get each course perfect , it is definitely something that would be ideal for a couple’s night in or for a foodie wanting a new fun challenge.

The price for this 3 course meal is $30 and for a special treat at home- this is for the lifestyle appreciator wanting a rare and exciting experience for a special occasion. As we cope with our new reality , let us keep finding ways to enjoy what we love in innovative ways. I am also keen to try their custom menus and explore some “outside catering “ for my next soiree at home. As we keep safe and healthy , let us wine and dine while we kicking it at home. Thank you to the Venue for a delicious weekend escape!

You can make your order for your “Restaurant in a Box” : on +263783725171.