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Malawi Monday #6: Restaurant Review

POOLSIDE BUFFET AT THE SUNBIRD CAPITAL HOTEL, LILONGWE

Whenever you and your family visit the capital city of Malawi, the poolside buffet at the Sunbird Capital Hotel is a great option for a family friendly weekend lunch.

The service in the pool area where the buffet is served is efficient though laid back with a chef hovering around the fire, ensuring that the meat is prepared just the way you like it. A waiter from the cash bar is also frequently attending to the guests’ requests and ensures that something to drink is served chilled.

The food is served from about noon until just before the pool closes at 18:00. A selection of ¼ chicken, chicken kebabs, beef sausages or beef kebabs are kept in a marinade next to the fire waiting for you to choose. On another counter close by, potato chips are freshly deep fried, if you prefer, and four salads of fresh produce, not solely organic, but fresh, available for you to add to your plate. Small freshly baked buns with pre-packed margarine are also provided.

At MK1 500 per plate of food this is real value for money.

This meal will most probably not be suitable to a vegan guest but as a vegetarian, I was left with a little more options.

Although a wine list is not produced by the waiter, liquor is available at the cash bar. I would advise though that you use the names of drinks you prefer and not a general term like ‘beer’ or ‘soda’. ‘Coke’ or ‘juice’ will therefore ensure a better experience. Another option is ordering directly at the bar. Bottled water is also served, either in the bottle or in a glass, your choice. Compared to the price of the food, the drinks are excessively priced with an apple juice as much as MK900, 2/3 of your meal’s price and a soda at about MK500.

Children are more than welcome and although children under the age of 7 are not allowed in the pool area unattended, they are served and welcomed with grace and kindness by all personnel.

Buffet at the pool area is only available for guests of the Sunbird Capital Hotel or for Fitness Centre members. To become a guest at the hotel, visit their website at www.sunbirdmalawi.com and make sure to select the Sunbird Capital Hotel since there are Sunbird Hotels throughout Malawi. Otherwise contact them via telephone at +265 1 7773 388. An application form needs to be completed at the reception of the Sunbird Capital Hotel to become a member of the Fitness Centre. At a cost of MK per annum members have full access to the gym, squash courts, pool and massage parlour.

This meal option at the pool area is at the back of the Sunbird Capital Hotel and leaves quite a distance to walk from the parking area. Disabled individuals gain access to the pool area via ramps which I’d advise you not to attempt without help due to the steep angle of these ramps.

The Sunbird Capital Hotel is a beacon in Lilongwe and used as point to navigate from. It is 25 kilometres from the Kamuzu International Airport, c/o Chilembwe and Presidents Way en-route to the city centre of Lilongwe. For guests flying into Lilongwe, a hotel shuttle bus is available for transport. Otherwise taxis are available at reasonable fairs.

Overall, dining at the Sunbird Capital Hotel, Lilongwe’s poolside buffet is relaxing on a Sunday afternoon and as a tourist you will experience a little bit of home mixed with the Warm Heart of Africa hospitality.

Summary:Pricing: food MK1500 per plate and drinks ranging from MK500 to MK1500Accessibility: this service is only accessible to guests of the Hotel or Fitness Centre members at a cost of MK260 000 per annum

Directions: 25kms from the airport, c/o Chilembwe and Presidents Way, en-route to the city centre of Lilongwe

Service: relaxing but efficient

Contact information: +265 1 7773 388

www.sunbirdmalawi.com

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