Speke Apartments, Wampewo Avenue. 7pm.
There’s something about places with serious but courteous Security Personnel. Well, save for the neat lawns and the exotic blooming flowers, they are your first encounter and leave quite an impression. For these ones, it’s all metal detectors and smiles, and directions to wherever it is you intend to go. “The restaurant is just ahead, and to the left,” Petra handing me my backpack.
The Saxophone welcomes you to the Restaurant, a gentleman smartly dressed in a suit slowly serenades the patrons as they enjoy their meal amid a buzz of light conversations. On the day, it is rather a full house. All tables for two are taken save for a few towards the balcony. The counter area is empty though, and better lit. The waitstaff move around like worker bees all busy in their neat brown and white uniforms.
It’s an open kitchen, and the chefs are busy flipping this and that, one chef catches my eye. He sees me come close to take some shots and smiles, continues beating this meat. Well, it is pork and he’s making pork cubes, he stops, approaches and we have a small chat. We talked about the idea of an open kitchen, if I could come over for lessons, if he knows a Salt Bae. Guess what, he didn’t. The heavenly aroma from the kitchen interrupted our talk. But in his head, I could loudly hear him think exactly this…
“La Cabana Restaurant & bar at Speke Apartments, Wampeweo Avenue, is the only Kampala’s premium and ritzy churrasco grill restaurant in Uganda and we entreat you to come delight and indulge in an evening of unlimited meats that have been marinated, grilled with full flavour and to perfection by our most senior grill chef. Once you flip your ‘playing card’ to green, the gaucho army, complete ‘Rambo knives’ and BBQ chicken to Garlic Marinated chicken, top sirloin steak, lamb legs, Skewers of rock salt pork cubes, flood out of the kitchen to carve and serve at your table in front of you, Brazilian churrasco style! In addition, we have an array of home-made sides & salads to accompany our meats and ensure you, our guests, relish your time with us.”
On the day I went for the lighter meal off their Main Course. Down the Silk Road I went. I love egg fried rice or mashed potatoes. So I went for vegetable fried rice, somewhat different, but still close.
Taste of China
Selection of Chinese teasers (chicken + beef + lamb + choice of fish or pork) cooked in a variety of flavours, served with vegetable fried rice.
The sweet and sour pork, all sugary and deep-fried, it’s a guaranteed palate pleaser. On the day it was all savoury and crunchy, sweet and tangy. It’s addictive stuff I tell you. I had it washed down with a Tusker Lite, just to reset the taste buds ready for the next meats.
There was the chicken and beef, but isn’t that all so cliche. The lamb,on the other hand, garlicky tender strips, with the right salt, I wonder if these guys also use Habari salt. It’s hard to not like a leg or shoulder of lamb, the rich meat, high in fat and flavour. It’s magic on a plate when cooked to tenderness (a typical Chinese stir-fry). I was really impressed by the spice, salt balance in the strips, I could feel it on my tongue hours later. Oh, and I tried it with a Pistachio Milkshake.
La Cabana really is a restaurant of class, with class and I was impressed by the attention to detail. The places of convenience are cleaned every 30 minutes, and it clearly shows. There’s a roster somewhere on the wall, signed and all. There are body size mirrors on the walls, I believe it’s hard to miss an open fly or a stain on the dress.
There’s a gym near, the restaurant. You can get in work out, burn some calories, process hunger and go for round two of your favorite meal. And well stocked bar, is well lit, and the counter area is spacious, perfect for after work catch ups.
I’d strongly recommend. Any foodie should try it out and check out their Indian, Continental and Chinese Cuisine.