It is always a welcome treat to frequent a place such as La Cabana Restaurant and be showered with attention as though you are a big time spender or a VIP. Therein lies the secret of this relatively new dining establishment to be found in Kololo. Part of the success of this place is no doubt the presence of Ali Iqramullah Liagath. He is an irrepressible, polite and knowledgeable foods and beverage (F&B) manager of the place. It helps to have on board an experienced Chinese chef in situ. We discovered that Yulin Ma is Muslim, talented and passionate about his craft.
Recently, my friends and I had occasion to check out their newly added Chinese menu at La Cabana Restaurant. In the event that you are having a get-together with friends or an office outing, then the trick here is to make sure that one makes a reservation; and discuss the menu with the F&B manager since this will ensure a smooth occasion. You would be surprised as to how intimidating and awesome a Chinese menu can be to those who may not be terribly au fait with Chinese food. This treat left many of us in awe and wishing to repeat the experience more often.
I chose the fabulous shark’s fin soup, a delicacy prized by the Chinese and comes in the form of a clear broth soup. It may take three to five days of cooking in order to bring out and enhance its superb flavour. Not sure how many days it took in this case. Fellow trencherman, never one to be adventurous surprised me by asking for the vegetable hot and sour soup. Apart from the soup and starters, the rest had been ordered in advance. We sat back and were regalled to an array of sumptuous dish after dish.
First of the block was the lobster Cantonese, a rather uncomplicated number with minced pork, fermented black beans and the usual condiments. In the end, an absolute ambrosia, an entrée that I would recommend for a festive occasion and in the company of food connoisseurs. Last but not least, was the filet of tilapia prepared and served at the table. This was new to me and it turned out extraordinary, simple in presentation with surprising results.
Consisting of finely sliced slivers of fish filet, that are delicately seasoned and in front of you, they are dipped in boiling oil and off the heat they are then fried and within minutes they are ready to eat. Amazing stuff, sublime and exquisite! No visit to La Cabana would be complete without the mention of Kung Pao chicken, their signature dish.
While on this occasion we chose to go the whole hog, La Cabana unlike some other pricey joints, where everything is upmarket, here, one can get by on a comfortable and affordable budget by being selective in choosing. Then, share the items and best of all one will still be accorded VIP status. Now if you choose to splurge no holds bar, then Ali and his ever courteous members of staff will go out of their way and see to it that you are looked after. This is in a manner that can best be described as being regal and pampered without appearing obsequious.
Place: La Cabana
Location: Speke Apartments, Wampewo Avenue
The space: Abundant
Ambience: Informal and comfortable
The crowd: Cosmopolitan
Sound level: Perfect
The bar: A wide range of drinks ranging from excellent wines, beer, spirits, sodas and fruit drinks
Menu: Starters: Inter alia crispy mixed vegetables, chili chicken, spicy lamb ribs, fried pork ribs with Chinese onions, golden fried prawns with ginger and garlic. Vegetarian: Shredded lettuces with garlic, broccoli with garlic sauce, fried cauliflower, fried baby corn, Pak choi with black mushrooms, spicy okra in garlic sauce, fried string beans etc.
Fish and sea food: Steamed whole fish, boiled fish, garlic prawns, spicy shrimps etc. Meat: Chili pork, sweet and sour pork, sizzling beef with green pepper, sweet and sour fish, Kung Pao chicken. White rice, stir fried rice, and homemade Chinese noodles.
The damage: A meal for two, plan on a minimum of Shs150,000 or more depending on how you go about selecting from the menu.
Ratings: Not to be missed
RATINGS: These ratings are purely the reviewer’s personal reaction to food, ambience and service and price.