Food worth every penny at Triple

Chicken before preparation. Chicken is one of the dishes served at Triple Garden, Wakaliga Road in  Kampala. PHOTO/A KADUMUKASA KIRONDE II.

What you need to know:

  • Review. The standards at Triple Garden are consistent but when it comes to the chicken, it is advisable to book in advance and avoid disappointment, writes A. Kadumukasa Kironde II.

Many working-class Ugandans who, by force of habit and owning to low discretionally disposable income, are obliged to have their lunches in what we call wotelis, aka local diners. Or in less flattering terms, ‘toninyira mu kange’(literally translated as ‘do not step where I am!’).

These, for want of a better word makeshift joints are frequently retail shops, which in many cases lack ventilation, occupy verandas or abound in several markets that have designated specific areas from where they can operate as well as outdoor places along the sidewalk in the evenings, especially in the suburbs. 

On the other hand, every day literally, thousands of young girls make deliveries of food from these joints to different places of work in and around Kampala. These can range from office workers, Blue collar workers, mechanics/garages, spare parts vendors et al. For those who opt to dine inside rather than venture out to these shabby and often drab eating places, seating is never comfortable and can range from benches to wooden or plastic chairs, but one frequent common denominator is that seating is never meant for comfort or privacy. Be prepared to be inconvenienced to get up and allow someone to make way in front of you and don’t dare complain.

Be ready to listen to all manner of gossip and scuttlebutt!  The habitués, more often than not have to put up with run down joints that are crowded, sharing tables with strangers and worse of all toilets which are decrepit, smelly and in one word; unsanitary. 

Funnily, often times these places manage to produce excellent matooke which has been steamed for hours on end while the sauces are usually passable and never anything to write home about. The other main selling point that these places have is the pricing factor.

The food ranges anywhere between Shs5,000 and Shs 8,000, but not more than Shs 10,000 at the most. I am the first to admit that all things being equal these are reasonable prices and par for the course but the negativity of the disheveled ambience far outweighs the benefit and this is where Triple Garden excels head and shoulder above the rest of the pack. Offering decent prices, good services, ample seating space among diners and  commendable food and above all toilets that are what one should expect and deserve in a public place. 

We have eaten at The Triple Garden several times and are pleased that their standards are consistent although when it comes to the chicken, it is advisable to book in advance and avoid disappointment not surprising considering that with suitable accompaniments the cost is  Shs7,000.  The service is good with friendly serving staff who deserve to wear uniforms. Hopefully in good time management will deem it fit to correct this anomaly. A dark skirt and white blouse would be more than adequate and these can be obtained from the flea market for a song. As for the food, it is  worth every penny while the prices are extremely pocket friendly. 

Price and ambience
We recently came across Triple Garden Restaurant on Wakaliga Road, just below The Uganda Pentecostal University, opposite Lubiri Senior Secondary school. I can gather the place has been around for some time albeit being more of a watering hole than an eatery worthy of mention.

My suspicion is that the food vendors cut a deal with management who agreed to let them run a food concession during the day while they concentrate on the beverages after hours. In the evening the same vendors offer chips and chicken for Shs13,000.  Come to think about it, outside the parking lot we saw a set-up operation that specialises in serving deep fried Nile Perch for Shs13,000 for a half kilo while a kilo is Shs23,000.  

As far as the dining area is concerned one can choose to sit wherever one chooses within the complex the upshot of it being that the place is an alfresco setting. The dining arrangement is highly informal. The menu that was presented is limited to fried beans, chicken, beef, ground nut sauce served with staple such as rice and matooke and a dollop of greens or cabbage. 

If you go...
Place: Triple Gardens Restaurant  
Address: Wakaliga Road, Rubaga Division 
Rating: Worth a visit 
Smoke-free zone: Not allowed 
Menu: Local food during lunch with chips and chicken at night 
Recommended item: Chicken stew served with rice, posho and matooke and vegetables in season
Damage: A meal for two comprising chicken stew and a soda each is Shs18,000.
Service: Good
Ambience: Quiet and relaxing 
Parking: Available 

What the ratings mean:  
Not to be missed, worth a visit, OK/so so, don’t waste your time.

These views 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.