Taste of the past and present

Yummy. Pork ribs and chips, one of the dishes served at The Patio Brasserie in Ntinda. PHOTO/PROMISE TWINAMUKYE

What you need to know:

  • Restaurant review: The Patio Brasserie on Ntinda Road is simple, unique and likeable. A. Kadumukasa Kironde II writes.

The Patio Brasserie opened in October 2021. Despite the prevailing lockdown, within four months they have managed to establish themselves to the point where they can rightly claim a place in the top end eateries in town by all accounts. Far from being ‘an also-ran’ establishment, The Patio ranks as primus inter pares among its peers. 

Behind this milestone establishment are Ron Kazooba Kawamara and his wife Cynthia Tumwine Kawamara. Ron has been in the food business in one way or another for a number of years and also lived in the US for more than a decade.

Cynthia is a media guru and a well-known radio personality on one of Kampala’s better known radio stations. Ron and Cynthia have always wanted to have their own restaurant and hence the birth of The Patio Brasserie.

Their dream came to fruition and what a joyous and pleasurable experience, though as they will hasten to tell you, ‘Gakyali Mabaga!’ From around April 2021, they have methodically and meticulously set about the business of creating the restaurant of their dream with one goal: to achieve perfection.  

Besides the food being of a remarkably high standard, a lot of thought went into the design and concept of the place. Often, that is not the case when people are setting up restaurants. The result is an airy, chic, cool and comfortable joint that takes full advantage of the al fresco setting and gives the place an idyllic feeling of informality and smartness. Who would ever have thought that in an unused space on Ntinda Road, away from the madding crowd, one would find such a prize jewel? 

The menu is smart casual and continental with a bias towards Italian fare as evidenced by their pastas or the stone-fired pizzas such as the classic Margarita or the chicken Cordon Blue.  Speaking of pasta, thanks to the creative head chef Joseph Magongo, who is the ranking chef holding forte at The Patio, one can be assured of as first class Italian food. 

For starters, pleasures wait in their home-made soups or the exquisite bruschetta not to mention the amazing garlic Parmesan fries. Perhaps, one of the best indication of Magongo’s mastering of Italian cooking lies in his pasta bolognese that is similar to the one we make in the Romagna style. This is richly laced with meat sauce and béchamel and it is almost austere  compared to the southern variety that is popular outside Italy, though rarely found here in Uganda.

Pasta bolognese at The Patio is not intended as a catch all. While acting as a vehicle for a moderate amount of meat sauce hence the name Bolognese, allows the pasta to maintain its own established character. As befitting, the béchamel that is added serves the purpose of binding the layers and thus ensuring that maximum moistness is maintained during the baking process.  

The remarkable salad is also something to talk about and provide a counterbalance to the meats and fats not to mention the sugars. Dessert include daily ice cream scoops, chocolate croissant, banana split, and black forest. 

Service and verdict
Service is efficient with the professional and discreet Ms Katheryn Loughery, a veteran restaurateur holding forte as the restaurant manager. She is ever present and making certain that the service is as good and deserving of a top notch establishment. 

The restaurant is the simplest and most marvelous of Kampala’s latest discoveries in a city that undergoes constant change in a seemingly imperceptible way: a brasserie that is modern and a new generation. A taste of the past and present combined. Best of all, for those inclined to a tipple now and again, there is a fully fledged bar with a modest wine list.  

Our rating: Not to be missed 
The place The Patio Brasserie 
Address: Adjacent to Victory City Church, Ntinda Road  
The space: Semi alfresco, airy, chic and cool. Breathtaking design and layout.
The crowd: Middle class and family-oriented Ugandans 
The bar: Smoothies, nojitos, iced tea, juices, slushes, mocha frappe, wine, spirits, beer and juice. 
Recommended: Candied pork bites, bacon wrapped filet mignon, pasta Bolognese, full English breakfast. 
The damage: A meal for two with soft drinks could go for Shs100,000 but with sandwiches you would pay less.  
Sound level: No complaints 
Parking: Limited in the forecourt but, there is valet parking at Victory Church.
Daily specials: Ask the waiter.
Smoke-free zone: Not allowed.
What we liked: The concept is unique. 
If you go: Daily; early breakfast and the kitchen closes at 10pm.

*These ratings are purely the reviewer’s personal reaction to food ambience and service factoring in the price.