Just for the sake of it
Posted Sunday, January 20 2013 at 14:01
RESTAURANT REVIEW. As soon as you get over the fact that the service industry in Jinja is not as robust as the one in Kampala, you can be able to enjoy your meals. One such place where you are bound to find comfort in fairly good dining is New Rendevous Restaurant.
Jinja is the kind of town that grows at a snail’s pace and good eating places are curiously conspicuous by their absence. People who live in Kampala are no doubt spoilt by the abundance of choice when it comes to most things including but not limited to, where to shop or dine, have a massage or a coiffeur, schools and a plethora of other things and ideas far too numerous to mention; and as for supermarkets, these seem to be a dime a dozen and one wonders whether they ever break even. As for dining out, there is an endless multitude of eating joints both new and old, and hardly a month comes and goes without a new place opening while an old one closes.
Last December saw me venture to Jinja for an extended stay and I bemoaned the scarcity of places and activities that we take so much for granted in Kampala. Bars, casino’s, café’s ethnic food the list is endless and ever growing.
Sadly, when it comes to local food, Jinja is bereft of choices with the exception of the New Rendezvous on Main Street; there is nothing else worth writing home about. However, to be fair, there are a number of joints that serve worthwhile for want of a better word Continental fare and these are doing a roaring business. I am reliably informed amongst which we must single out Two Friends where we have dined more than once and loved the food.
Flavors Restaurant is another of the favourite for the peripatetic tourists that frequent Jinja, though I confess to have found the food disappointing despite their having a favorable ambience.
Lunch time at the New Rendezvous is more a function of necessity than a place where one can sit back and dine in style and enjoyment. One should not accuse me of being punctilious or picayune, from long experience I can assure you that there is no joy in dining there when it comes to the small things that matter being amiss and absent.
I mean, some of us old timers still rate ambiance as being a necessary criteria and sine qua non when dining out, clearing the table or the general upkeep of the place are all part and parcel of the equation. Sadly, these attributes were sorely lacking at the New Rendezvous with the saving grace being that the fare was more than above average.
The buffet setting has always been the most convenient mode of serving large numbers though in this case the numbers are not that great to warrant its existence and the overall presentation was disappointing. Various items do get finished and those concerned in replenishing stocks are slow on the take.
The matooke is very good and the stews, though not very inspired, are boiled which is what their clientele so desire. The variety is generous as are the portions. There is also a choice of fried or steamed rice, yams, sweet potatoes and greens. I do not recall a dessert though a drink is included in the price.
Work on these transgressions and oversights and I am sure that the faithful habitués will multiply in droves.