Restaurant Review: Their specialty in all manner

Pork is the specialty  at  The Pork Planet Restaurant. Photos/ A Kadumukasa Kironde II.

What you need to know:

  • Restaurant Review. The Pork Planet is a spot where all manner of pork is prepared. Its alluring ambiance and tidiness cannot go unnoticed.

A couple of years ago Chef Gadson came up with the idea of setting up a restaurant in midtown Kampala that serves only pork, an idea which in itself is unusual though by no means unique. Pork joints in and around Kampala abound and are a dime a dozen albeit none are situated in the heart of the city centre. Not to mention that few of them care about décor and ambiance. 

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In general, they are of dishevelled appearance with scant regard for any semblance of smartness or comfort. While The Pork Planet was by no means posh, by any standard it was comfortable, neat and tidy.

The start
 From the very beginning, going back to October 2021, The Pork Planet has been a success story with one major drawback, the size of the place being that of a postage stamp. When we discovered The place, sometime last year, much to our disappointment it was tiny and could barely accommodate a baker’s dozen at a seating. By any stretch of the imagination making ends meet with such small numbers of diners was bound to be an uphill and difficult task to run a restaurant profitably given the low seating capacity and save for a miracle, sooner or later the business was bound to run into strong head winds in terms of cash flow. Gadson was acutely aware of this challenge back then and told me that he was making plans to expand sooner or later. 

Nature abhors a vacuum and as good luck would have it, a vacancy occurred plum next to his place and Chef Gadson took up the opportunity with both hands without any hesitation. The first order of business was to draw up a budget and seek funds for the venture. Luckily, he had saved some money for a rainy day and coupled with this and other means he worked out a plan of action and timetable and got the ball rolling. Fortunately, business was able to carry on apace while the renovations were taking place. 

The first step was to break down the wall in the middle, which was not a difficult task since the partition was not permanent. Next was to do a bit of interior decoration, acquire tables and chairs, table cloths and a few more flat screens and he was good to go. He also put up colourful illustrations on the wall that depicted the place and within no time Gadson managed to achieve a wonderful transformation of the place while at the same time more than doubling the dining capacity. Another new feature was coming up with ideas such as Bucket Night every Friday and Saturday offering five beers for Shs20,000 as well as having a greater variety of alcoholic beverages. Depending on the demand, he is also thinking of employing a barista and creating an array of cocktails and mocktails.

On our recent visit to The Pork Planet the first thing that one notices outside is the huge sign board outside. Once inside, we were bowled over and all agog at seeing this new outstanding facelift which give new breadth and depth to the place. As for the food, as good as expected with the signature dish still being the bountiful katogo with the large mousakala matooke ‘fingers’ served with pork and costing a pocket-friendly tenner. The only meat served is pork with accompaniments of fried rice, cassava, Irish potatoes and greens. 

The service is quick and efficient and the place is clean and tidy while the standard of the food is consistent and never a disappointment. 
Chef Gadson is a hands-on person and spends his time at the restaurant ensuring that all is well and service runs smoothly. 

If you go…
Our rating: Not to be missed 
The place: Kampala Pork Planet
Address: The Plaza, formerly Gandesha Plaza.  Off Jinja Road, next to the former railway station.

The space: Since our last visit last year in June, they have more than doubled the seating capacity and also added a small terrace. 
The crowd: People from around town including late Friday night revelers for whom they open all night.  
The menu: Pork menu: Kikalayi special Shs 20,000, Planet Kikalayi special mega Shs 30,000, Planet grills Shs 20,000, Planet grills mega Shs30,000, Planet ribs special Shs30,000, Planet roast Shs 20,000, Pork Katogo Shs 10,000.
Bucket night: Every Friday and Saturday night  Cold drinks: Beer Shs 5,000, vodka Shs6,000,  and  juice Shs5,000. 
The damage: The buffet is a very reasonable Shs 30,000 and is available every Friday and Saturday. As expected the only meat served is pork. RATINGS are purely the reviewer’s personal reaction to food, ambience and service with price being factored into consideration.