Chicken in crisp clean place

Some of the dishes served at the Heavy Coffee & Chicken. PHOTO/KADUMUKASA KIRONDE II

What you need to know:

  • Restaurant Review. Many a devotee of chicken and chips would be happy to order from Heavy Chicken & Coffee and pay a more affordable price than the likes of KFC, writes A. Kadumukasa Kironde II.

Fred Sentanda is the main man behind the successful Heavy Chicken & Coffee that opened awhile back as we were coming to the end of the pandemic. Besides being very consistent in terms of service delivery and quality, Fred is very big on digital/e marketing where his presence is frequently to be found and seen and from what I gather this strategy is paying handsome dividends.  

As we all well-know, here in Uganda chicken tends to be the most expensive item on the menu whereas this is the very opposite in Boston or New York where a half a kilogramme  or so of chicken would retail for just about a dollar or slightly under Shs4,000. Two pieces of chicken and chips in a decent take away would set one back about $4 or thereabouts. 

In many ways the advent of such key and established fast food brands such as Kentucky Fried Chicken into the Ugandan market a decade or so ago, and given its pricing differential, has proven to be a godsend to establishments such as Heavy Chicken & Coffee whose specialty is chicken. 

Funnily enough, despite pizzas being second in popularity after chicken at this establishment, Pizza Hut had no luck in Uganda and closed shop after a few years of disappointing sales.  In terms of stretching the shilling for maximum value for money, many a devotee of chicken and chips would be happy to order from Heavy Chicken and pay a more affordable price than the likes of KFC. 

For Shs16,000 one can get the Heavy 2 combo comprising two pieces of chicken, fries, salad and a soda which is a reasonable price to pay. It boils down to economics. Agreed that in terms of set up and ambience there is no comparison between the two, for that matter just like those who drive expensive vehicles such as BMWs and Rollers, KFC will always have their loyal market. 

However, Uganda is a different ball game compared to Nairobi next door, where dining out is an extremely popular event and many high end establishments do SRO business day in and day out. 

Well with an economy which is at least two and half time the size of ours it is hardly surprising that they registered more than two million tourists before the pandemic. 

Another impressive item that we like at Heavy Chicken is the lusaniya for two which is well priced at around Shs35,000. It comprises two pieces of fried chicken, goat, liver, pilao, steamed rice, wedges, coleslaw, chapattis, and gravy. 

At the end of the day, Heavy Chicken is the ideal place to go for low budget meals including samosas both beef and chicken and other snacks. For something more filling there is always the katogo at Shs5,000, or the full English breakfast, the bottom line being that two can get by on Shs20,000 with some snacks and a soda or for twice that amount still manage to get a wholesome meal of pilao, chicken or liver and the like. Managed variety is what it really boils down to and in these days of biting the bullet, many would tend to agree with this business model. 

Heavy Chicken and Coffee is a tiny joint, barely the size of a postage stamp spotless and cozy nonetheless, and still able to cater for small birthday parties for a few invitees. The size of the place is really not of much concern since there is a significant amount of take away orders.

If you go... 
Place: Heavy Chicken & Coffee 
Location: Makindye, Opposite Calendar Hotel 
The space: The size of a postage stamp but impeccably clean
The crowd: A fair amount of online sales mainly from the people within the neighbourhood  
The bar: Coffee, soda, juice etc. 
Menu:  Heavy 2 Shs 16,000, two pieces chicken, fries, salad and soda, Heavy basket 
Shs 43,000, half basket 4 pcs, chips, soda and salad 
Shs 25,000, six pack  six pcs, fries, soda and salad shs 35,000, chicken wings three pieces and fries Shs 13,000, whole grilled chicken, fries and soda Shs40,000, chicken stew, white rice or brown, fries or wedges, soda and salad Shs 16,000, heavy lusaniya for two, chicken, goat, liver, pilao, white rice, wedges, chapattis, gravy, salad and soda Shs35,000, pizzas, small Shs 25,000 to 
Shs 37,000 for a large, burger and fries Shs15,000. Mixed grill for two, Shs60,000 
The check: A couple can get by with Shs 40,000 including a drink 
Parking: Limited but available 
If you go: Day and night 24/7 
Ratings: Worth a visit 

*These ratings are purely the reviewer’s personal reaction to food, ambience and service with price being factored into consideration. The menu listings and prices are subject to change without notice.