Dining & Recipes
Saved by consistency and available service
Posted Sunday, January 6 2013 at 02:00
RESTAURANT REVIEW. Friends of ours from Jinja who dine out do not have a wide range of dining establishments from which to choose. Unlike Kampala, that has a plethora of restaurants of all types, ranging from 5 stars to no star, in Jinja, one would be hard pressed to find more than a handful. And by all accounts amongst the best ranks 2 Friends Guest House.
Looking at the menu of 2 Friends in Jinja, one marvels at the simplicity and effectiveness of the layout. It is a common trend in Kampala to find a menu that is ambitious with half a dozen types of steaks, a variety of chicken dishes, goat and goodness knows how many types of soups let alone starters. It is not uncommon to turn up at one of these swanky joints and ask for something enticing on the menu only to be informed that “it is over.” Having said that, there is nothing wrong with a large menu; provided that one has the clientele thus allowing for adequate preparation and dispensing of food.
The other night, we chanced to be in Jinja town and decided to drop by this much regarded place. Despite it being midweek, the place was reasonably busy and we were pleasantly surprised to be greeted by Fina, who would be our waitress for the night. We chose a table that did not have a table cloth and she asked if we minded being disturbed as she went about getting a fresh one.
Exploring the menu
After setting the table, we were presented with a simple and concise menu so we had little trouble deciding on what to eat. For starters, and they are only four, we definitely thought that the tomato soup (Shs10,000) was overpriced as was the case of the samosas. We skipped them and decided on the main course of pepper steak that was wonderfully flavoured with just the right amount of peppercorns sauce and as for the pork spare ribs; these were tender and succulent almost to a fault. As for the mixed grill, (chicken, steak and pork) not bad but for the money they could have added a grilled tomato and a fried egg. I mean, Shs 35,000 is not cheap.
The low side
The accompaniments were a great disappointment and this was especially the case with the so called salad. How stingy to serve three slices of tomatoes and some sliced onions and call that a salad! As for the mashed potatoes and boiled rice, absolutely boring and wholly unappetising; fried rice or Mexican rice would have been a much better preference. The gravy mushroom was over salted and inferior to the pepper sauce.
What makes this place a cut above the others is the consistency of the food and the excellent service. Fina who served us was well disposed, professional and cheerful. The food comes out in record time and the lighting gives the place a nice ambience.
We also like the idea of the gazebos that give one a modicum of privacy which otherwise would not be there. Last but not least, it was highly inconsiderate of the workers to begin moving the cushions from the lounge chairs while we were still dining. Surely a little patience to let us finish our food and then clear the cushions would have been the right thing to do. Next time, maybe.
AT A GLANCE
The place: 2 FRIENDS GUEST HOUSE
Plot 6 Jackson Crescent, Jinja
Our Rating: Worth a visit
The Space: Mainly alfresco with a labyrinth of trees and gazebos
The Crowd: Mainly expats and the Ugandan hoi polloi who fancy Continental fare.
The Menu: Starters range between Shs8,000 and Shs16,000. From the Grill, meats are priced between Shs 27,000 and Shs35, 000. For Shs25, 000, you can order a burger with fries. For pizza lovers, these are baked after 18 00 hours and range in price from Shs18, 000 to Shs22, 000.
The Bar: A variety of soda, fresh juice ianld alcoholic drinks.
The check: We were a party of three and the food cost around Shs 75,000, while drinks were Shs60, 000.
Parking: Available and secure
What we liked: The food is served in time and the service staff is courteous as well as knowledgeable about the food that they serve.
If you go: Breakfast, lunch and supper seven days