This month I decided to compare takeaway spring rolls from ten different places. All were ordered as chicken and veg, except for two that just offer a generic ‘spring roll’. Interesting I thought, that the best and worst I found in Harare are in the same shopping centre! Here are my ratings.
1. Spring Roll centre, Fife Ave. 8.5/10
It was very close between the top two but this was my personal favourite. This is a good, juicy, spring roll with big chunks of chicken and a nice taste to the filling that meant you didn’t really need the sweet & sour sauce. $3 for one large.
2. Kings, Avondale. 8.4/10
Again this is a super juicy and tasty spring roll, which doesn’t even really need the sweet and sour. A nice thin and crispy batter. Hard to fault this serving and in the end it was just personal preference. $3 for one large.
3. Pad Thai, Newlands. 7.5/10
They make a good tasty spring roll with nice fresh vegetables but are just a bit mean with the chicken for my liking which I felt pulled them down. Decent sweet & sour sauce. $4 for three medium.
* BEST VALUE FOR MONEY
4. Chinatown, Alexandra Park. 7/10
A crunchy crispy batter with juicy fresh vegetables but once again a bit mean with the chicken content. Overall this spring roll is nice and juicy with a decent sauce. Good effort all round. $4 for two medium.
5. Kow Lee, Avondale. 6.5/10
Less than 50m from Kings, they’re much busier and 50c more expensive but it can’t be for the spring rolls. They tried with a decent amount of chicken but this was dry and not too tasty without the sauce and the batter was hard and chewy. They also have a branch in Greendale. $3.50 for one large.
6. Shangri la, Enterprise Rd. 6/10
Nothing spectacular about this spring roll but it has a decent taste and is fairly nice and juicy. The nasty sweet & sour sauce is what really pulled this one down into the bottom half. $4 for two medium.
7. Great Wall, Belgravia. 5.5/10
In contrast the Great Wall have a really nice sweet and sour sauce but their actual spring roll is dry, not very tasty and actually really needs the sauce to save it and keep it passable. $4 for two medium.
8. Wing Wah, Glenara Rd. 4/10
This is a bad attempt. The filling doesn’t actually taste that bad but there is not enough of it for the size of the spring roll. The batter is weird – too thick, not fried enough perhaps and then the whole thing is served with tomato sauce! Fail. $4 for two medium.
9. China Garden, Milton Park. 3.5/10
I felt a bit cheated because when I paid $7, I expected something spectacular but their 10 mini spring rolls equate to 2 mediums and bizarrely taste more like samosas, plus there is no sauce accompaniment. Fail. $7 for ten mini rolls.
10. Spar, Fife Ave. 1/10
Ok so I wasn’t expecting much from a supermarket offering but this has the strangest taste – almost like macaroni cheese with too much salt and pepper plus this is the least value for money. Total fail. $1.30 for one mini.