Great cooking and the attentive service at Ruby

What you need to know:

Review. Ruby restaurant offers some interesting starters such as feta cheese samosas and excellent and affordable meals.

Historically, Bugolobi was a very posh neighbourhood out of town with relatively well planned roads and infrastructure and the last place where one would imagine nigh- life much less high rise buildings would one day abound. 
Today, it is another story with numerous new bars and dining establishments, having surfaced not to mention high rise apartment buildings, something that was unheard of or even contemplated 20 or 30 years ago. 

It hardly takes a brain surgeon to figure out that having a property on an acre of land is not as profitable as building a storied apartment block on it that will give one far greater returns in the long- run. 

Last week on Good Friday, we chanced to dine out for lunch at Ruby restaurant, which we discovered, has been around since last year. Many people would be surprised to learn that there are places off the beaten track in places such as Bugolobi that offer excellent and affordable lunch. 
Ruby restaurant has a menu, which is brief, while at the same time offering some interesting starters such as feta cheese samosas that I have never seen served in Uganda, although admittedly I have seen and tasted the same in New York. 

When you think about it, a samosa is a fried Asian pastry with a savory filling and who says that this (the filling) should be limited to beef, chicken or veggies? Do not get me wrong. Chef Emmanuel Okello who holds forte at Ruby is hardly the inventor of this delectable savory bite; at his request, we have him to thank for having it on the menu. Over to the mains and hats off to Chef for the double cooked goat nyama choma, which is indescribably succulent, tender and literally melts in one’s mouth. The secret to this piece de resistance is the simple but ingenious twice-cooked method pioneered by the Chinese. 

Here in Uganda, much as I love goat meat more often than not, when it comes to tenderness, it is more of a hit and miss affair with the chances of miss being more the case than otherwise. 

Yes, we have all heard of tenderisers such as pineapple or papain, sodium bicarbonate and a bunch of others from your grandmother. Years ago, the Chinese came up with the ideal cheap and practical method of ‘twice cooked meat.’ 
The meat is cooked by boiling meat chunks in hot broth with slices of ginger, garlic and salt first, and when ready removed, cooled and set aside. When an order is made the meat is shallow fried in hot oil and within no time ready to serve and the results are sheer ambrosia and 100 percent fool proof all of the time.

The boys were wholly satisfied with chicken wings served with great fries, and as for the whole tilapia, I always cringe at the idea of eating whole fish with the bones and have to worry at the risk of eating a bone, while dining. Mercifully, chef Okello serves his whole fish deboned, which is an absolute godsend, and highly recommended. 

The Place Ruby 
Address: Bandali Rise, Bugolobi opposite Equator Catering  
Rating: Not to be missed 
The Space: Cavernous, airy and trendy 
The Crowd: A varied mixture of young people who appreciate good food in a nice environment.

The menu: Appetisers/Tapas: Feta cheese samosas shs 18’000/-, Beef samosas shs 20’000/-, Chicken lollipop shs 30’000/-, Tempura shs 50’000/-, Salad: Greek salad shs 30’000/-, Salad Nicoise shs 32’000/- , Caesar salad shs 38’000, Grills: Grilled lemon paprika chicken  shs 48’000/- Grilled tenderloin  steak 300g shs 45’000/-, Goat nyama choma (double cooked) shs 45’000, Pork spareribs shs 65’000/-, Grilled whole tilapia shs 55’000/-, Grilled salmon in Greek basil sauce shs 80’000/-, Burgers: Aussie chicken burger shs 40’000/-, Grilled steak burger shs 35’000/- 

The Bar: An assortment of liquor, iconic Whisky sour that is a great favorite at Ruby where they sell them by the gallons. They also sell sangria, which was unheard of in Kampala a few years ago. 
Recommended dishes: Feta cheese samosas were amazing and the phyllo pastry superb.  
The damage: A meal for two will cost around Shs150,000 with a starter and a couple of drinks.