Restaurant Review

Written By: The Lowdown - Aug• 31•00

Eating OutMr Pete’s Steakhouse

 

For the last month, numerous promises had been made to meet for lunch but no date had been set. Suddenly it was Friday, and my friend of many years was leaving Zambia the next day. Having been tied up in meetings all morning and with preparation still to be done for a meeting on Saturday morning, which restaurant was suitable for a fairly quick meal and where could we take the children as well?

The answer of course was Mr Pete’s.

Way back in 1975, the only restaurants that existed in Lusaka were at the hotels or clubs. That is, until Mr Pete’s Steakhouse opened in Northmead, where your steak was cooked on a charcoal grill in full view of diners and the chef was allocated a few beers a night because of the heat from the fire. It was Lusaka’s Original Steakhouse. Now situated in Panganani Road, the food is still prepared on a charcoal grill, but this is now behind an enormous window.

Over the years, one was always assured of a good steak at Pete’s and this is still the case, with every steak cooked exactly to order, whether it be well-done or in a state that a good vet could get going again. Meals are served with chips, garlic sauce, chilli sauce and green tomato chutney.

They have recently increased their menu to include seafood and other delights for the Epicurean, all prepared by their chef, Santos, but the old favourites like Tandoori chicken and spareribs are still available. Tandoori chicken, cooked to their own special recipe and spare ribs both take about 30 minutes to cook, but the wait is certainly worthwhile. Meals are served on cast iron platters, and in many restaurants this can create a problem for those who like their steak rare, as if the plates are over-heated, the meat continues cooking at the table. At Mr Pete’s this is not a problem as the plates are heated to the correct temperature.

Their salad bar has a good variety of salads and prices are reasonable with meals and drinks for five costing less than K 120,000 The d├ęcor has recently been redone. The walls are still wood panelled, but a new floor has been laid, lightening up the room considerably. Mr Pete’s has long been a favourite place at lunch, as it is central for those who work in the CBD or in the industrial areas and parking is fairly easy. Also, it doesn’t fall under the area covered by the LCC parking fees and there is a security guard who keeps an eye on vehicles.

The menu is written on a chalkboard and this did present a problem as it was not easily viewed by all diners. However, with the additions to their menu, they will shortly be producing printed ones. John, the headwaiter, is still with them – it must be at least 15 years since he started as a junior waiter – and he greets you each time with a pleasant smile. The service is efficient and fast, except that problems can occur if John is off for the day.

Not having been to Mr Pete’s for about 18 months, it was pleasing to see that the quality and service is still of a good standard, not that I expected anything else from The Original Steakhouse!

 

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