What you need to know:
- Restaurant review. The new renovation at Kalungi Aangan in Entebbe is attractive and gives the place a much needed boost. It goes without saying that the portions are generous and affordable, writes A. Kadumukasa Kironde II.
Now that the boys are home for the holidays from boarding school, as much as possible, we make that reserve Sunday’s for going out with the family. While Kampala is always offering new places and choices from which to choose, and Entebbe is always one of our favourite places to visit and when it comes to Indian food, Kalungi Aangan is where we head. Kalungi Aangan Indian Restaurant and Guest House is owned by Alox Badoni, a man of vast experience in the hospitality industry spanning more than 26 years. Currently, he owns Aangan Restaurant located on Lugogo Bypass in Kampala.
Recently, Kalungi Aangan underwent renovation, adding more outdoor parasols, which means more alfresco seating in relative comfort away from the scorching sun, while indoors they have purchased new chairs in the thatched dining area that are more trendy and comfortable compared to the former. As for the tables, they have bought new linen that is colorful and blends in well with the setting and gives it added fillip. There is also a new mini playing area for the children, with a seesaw, a slide and swings. One of the things that attracts us to this place, whenever we dine here, is that we are given that blissful sense of feeling indulgent and pampered that is not often to be found in town.
In any case, I am the first to admit that I am at somewhat of a disadvantage in evaluating the service for the simple reason that the vigilant and attentive staff can never fail to recognise me and were invariably fawning upon us in their endeavor to keep vigil over our table. Though I hasten to add that I did take a furtive glance now and again over at other diners and not surprisingly they too were accorded similar, if not better service.
As a vegetable starter, it is a safe bet that the chilly paneer chef’s special would leave you intrigued and wanting to discover more. Not to be out done and while still on the non-meat menu, would have to be the Tandoori paneer tikka that is another fine number that greatly benefits from the charcoal grill effect. As for fish, one can only marvel at the chilly garlic fish that is subtly laced with a tantalising masala. At Shs30,000, you may be thinking that is not cheap, but if you are a couple, you can easily share wherein the cost can surely be justified.
While still on the subject of starters, I see they have introduced the chicken lollipop, something of no great gastronomical renown in my view, nevertheless a favourite of the not so adventurous neophyte who is just starting getting a foothold into Indian food.
For fish lovers, upon special order, I implore you to check out the whole fish dhaniya masala. This is a boneless wonder that is first fried and then cooked on a tawa and then embellished in a wondrous sauce of mint, cilantro and spices done to absolute perfection. Despite the food being mainly Northern Indian, you will find the occasional South West Indian costal delicacy in the form of fish koliwada that is laced with just the right flavor of coconut and spices.
More than Indian
They also offer a Chinese menu and among my favorite soups was the much loved hot and sour soup that has its origins from Sichuan province. Today it is a staple in any Chinese restaurant and seeing it on the menu I could not resist ordering same. Chicken tikka masala is another of those popular starters which never disappoints. One of us ordered the so called full meal plate in the form of whole fish fried fish with fries and salad. The fish was of a good size and the chips were generous.
Speaking of which, on the whole the portions at Kalungi Aangan are way above average in portion compared to similar eating joints in town. No matter what one orders, be it the chicken curry with pilao vegetable rice or the Chinese egg-fried rice with chicken, one is always assured of a large bounty. The food is always tasty and well prepared and to the credit of the waiting staff, they politely inquire as to whether one desires their food, hot and spicy or otherwise.
If you go...
Place: Kalungi Aangan Restaurant
Rating: Worth a visit
Address: Across the street from 4 Points Restaurant in Entebbe
The space: Semi alfresco indoors as well as an outdoor garden and bar
Accommodation: Nine rooms that are tastefully done and inexpensively priced and affordable.
The crowd: People from around Entebbe, as well as Kampala
The bar: Juice, lassi, beer and soda, wine and spirits
Recommended dishes: Saag meat with spinach, chicken tandoori and their naans are out of this world.
The damage: Depending on how you choose reckon spending at least Shs100,000 for two with a couple of drinks
Sound level: Very good
Full meal on plate: Fish fingers with fries and salad
shs 30,000, whole fish with fries and salad shs 35,000.
Smoke free zone: Not allowed
Service: Professional and good
What we liked: The portions are generous and filling at the same time the food is of the Aangan standard as one might expect. The new renovation is attractive and gives the place a much needed boost.
If you go: Open for breakfast, lunch and supper daily.
RATINGS: 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.