‘Cultural’ shock at Sanyuka Garden Cafe
- Written by Frank Kisakye
Forgive my ‘cultural’ food expectations; I mean, what else would you expect from a restaurant within the premises of the Lubiri-Mengo palace?
Moreover, it was even opened some years back by Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II himself. Of course, a chance to get to taste the most authentic luwombo prepared with all the royal expertise comes to mind. And who knows, maybe the kabaka might pass by!
In any case, the restaurant has been designated as one of Buganda cultural centres that any tourist visiting the kingdom ought to visit in Kampala. Whereas the menu booklet shows the usual Ugandan dishes, it is majorly themed on Ethiopian foods, reserving several pages for their different foods, with pizza the main selling point.
Evidently, the restaurant took on new management and no wonder, the luwombo does not feature, probably due to the fact that Sanyuka Garden café is an a la carte restaurant. With all the preparation intricacies the luwombo comes with, it is understandably off the menu.
I did not ask if it was available but the fact that it was never mentioned by the waitress was indicative enough not to even bother.
The prices are high but the cool ambience gives you something different. The century-old trees are a viewing spectacle on their own and give off a unique natural breeze. A plain piece of chicken goes for Shs 15,000 while water costs Shs 4,000.
Settling for the vegetable spaghetti for Shs 24,000, I expected a vegetable-filled spaghetti platter. Shock number two.
If vegetables mean roasted onions and some remnants of carrots and green pepper topped with ground cumin and black pepper, then yes, vegetable spaghetti it was. In the end, it did not matter; the aromas were so alluring and the food extremely tasty, and it was served aplenty.