What you need to know:
Restaurant review. Baguma NP and Family Restaurant is simple, unique and likeable. A. Kadumukasa Kironde II.
From little acorns grow oak trees and nothing better illustrates this saying than the rise of Baguma N P & Family Restaurant, which today, is a far cry from the ever so humble and modest beginnings dating back to 1991.
Thirty-one year’s later, and come early 2022 they moved into the prime and pristine erstwhile D’Mellos Indian Restaurant. It is surely an ill wind that blows nobody any good, and when late last year around December Baguma Restaurant was given notice to vacate the former premises on George Street, concurrently D’Mellos after many years in situ was throwing in the towel and calling it a day.
Lady luck matched the two together and Patrice Baguma found an available let as a going concern that was coincidently in spitting distance from where they were located. Both parties reached a meeting of the mind and come January, Baguma was ensconced in a more upmarket property and in one fell swoop had risen several notches, image wise, than one could ever have dreamed.
Needless to say Patrice had to put a lot of work into the kitchen to bring it up to speed to be able to prepare local food as well as a few touch ups here and there and kitting out the waiting staff into smart uniforms.
Today, things are moving well and customers are bowled over by the new place and look.
My first recollection of Patrice Baguma was back in the early 90s when he was located in a mere lock up shop in what was then known as Shauri Yako in downtown Kampala. By the late 90s he had successfully expanded the original shop into several adjoining outlets and created enough space for a couple of hundred diners.
Due to the changing times, Shauri Yako was razed and turned into a one of those gaudy and shoddy shopping mall complexes that have become a feature of downtown Kampala life. Moving with the times Baguma and Sons had to secure new premises and that is how they ended up being on Mackay Road between Hotel Havana and Petro Uganda.
A few years later they moved to George Street and finally over to Nakasero lane which, of all the places they have been to date is the crème de la crème.
Breakfast at this joint is always ready before seven and even at this ungodly hour believe it or not people do show up in droves. The breakfast offering is nothing that exciting and comprises much loved and commonplace nosh such as katogo accompanied by amakamo. Tea and coffee are also available.
With the new place, Baguma has done away with the much hackneyed buffet, which while having its advantages, more often than not, in the context of the Ugandan relatively low cost meals, tends to be a disappointment and no brainer, especially for those who come after the early patrons have eaten.
Meat and chicken become a hit and miss affair, not to mention the tendency of diners to take more of those items than they can consume. While there is a choice of several legumes, one may find only a couple left and last but not least keeping the burners alight and the food in the chafing dishes piping hot.
Do not get me wrong the buffet setting can work, but needs the likes of the Serena Kampala Hotel or the Sheraton Kampala Hotel where one is paying premium money for a meal and such afore mentioned issues never arise as they are always nipped in the bud.
Today at this establishment, plate setting is the order of the day and believe it or not turnaround time is no more than a few minutes which is a win-win situation for all parties concerned and markedly there is less wastage since better portion control is maintained in the kitchen.
NP Baguma & Family Restaurant food remains the essence of good boiled stews which derives their origins from Ankole and Kigezi, where the latter are known to eating offals and goat meat combined. Likewise, all their meats are boiled with nothing more than water, onions, tomatoes and salt.
BAGUMA NP & FAMILY RESTAURANT
Address: Kisozi Complex, 6 Nakasero Lane, Kampala
Our rating: Not to be missed
The space: An attractive alfresco area as you enter as well as a large indoors dining room and a smaller one. Certainly a great leap forward from the former place.
The crowd: Affluent city workers both young and old though in the main this is not the genre of food that expats will enjoy.
The bar: Soda, juice, water and beer
The check: Lunch for two including a drink each costs Shs20,000.
What we liked: The matooke is as soft as butter and is cooked from midnight and they open late for lunch. Best of all you order your food and it is served within two minutes.
If you go: Breakfast is ready from 7am and lunch is served every day of the week and is ready from noon and they are open until late in the evenings.
RATINGS: These 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.