Had it not been for the prices...

A dish served at Kazi Beach. Photo | Kadumukasa Kironde II.

What you need to know:

  • As might be expected, this money acts as a deterrent to would be riff raff and undesirable company who would otherwise freely enter and cavort around the place at will.

When we were growing up in New York in the 1960s, I will forever have fond memories of Coney Island in Brooklyn. Famous for having wonderful amusement parks coupled with its almost six-kilometre Broadwalk that was fronted by a sand beach. Who can forget the many, many different rides, exhibitions, restaurants, souvenir shops, etc. Who can ever forget the iconic Nathan’s hot dogs that for the last 150 years have been a feature of Coney Island? 

Recently, we were invited to my nephew’s birthday party, which for reasons best known to my sister who extended the invitation, was being held at Kaazi Beach Resort Busabala. Kaazi has always been known as a camping site for Boys and Girl Scouts and Guides, but the beach resort part was something entirely new to me. Notwithstanding, truth be told in the past, the place had a nasty reputation for harbouring drug addicts and other miscreants, much to the detriment of the place which led to drastic measures to curb these widespread shenanigans being instituted by management. Among these is a noticeable discreet presence of UPDF armed soldiers and a gate fee of Shs100,000 per family which is drawn down against one’s tab. As might be expected, this money acts as a deterrent to would be riff raff and undesirable company who would otherwise freely enter and cavort around the place at will.

We sat in a group of about 20 under a parasol and wondered what one would do in the event of rain? Mercifully the weather was perfect and a waiter brought a menu, which despite its brevity, is ridiculously over the top in terms of pricing. I am the first to admit that there are no universally accepted price guidelines when it comes to menu pricing and costing however, the determining factor for what to charge should be based on a number of considerations inter alia; exclusivity and standard of the venue. In other words, one would not expect to be charged the same price for a soda or beer at say the Sheraton Kampala Hotel since the two appeal to a different clientele and are in a different league all together. Shockingly, local beer costs Shs7,000 while Heineken is Shs14,000 and a Red Bull energy drink was Shs18,000.  The only description one can make of these prices is that they are a complete rip off.  These prices by any standard are what one would expect to pay in a top notch hotel in Kampala. Certainly not in a dodgy place in the boonies.

The food menu fared no better. We ordered for the so called marinated whole deep fried fish and in all fairness, the marination was simply a myth while the size was small and probably would have retailed for no more than a fiver at the fishmongers. For Shs36,000 taste aside which was nothing to write home about chewy and dried out, the size was most disappointing and this meal should have cost no more than Shs25,000. Not to beat a dead horse, why embellish a lie and talk of marinated fish when it was decidedly not the case. I know how some of these young chefs in the kitchen get carried away, but such misrepresentation can only back fire and harm the reputation of the establishment.  As for the fries, greasy and limp served as a child’s portion with the salad taking the prize. Measly with a few strands of tomatoes and a couple of shreds of onions which in case you did not know are Shs8,000 a kilogramme today.

Regarding the changing rooms and toilets (they have a swimming pool) it beats me why the powers that be do not see the wisdom of having a full time attendant to mop up the floor and keep the area dry and spotless. In summary, in these days of biting the bullet and until further notice such as a change in pricing and an improvement in the kitchen, I would keep a wide berth of Kaazi Beach Resort Busabala.

Kazi Beach Resort: Busabala

Our rating: OK/so so

The space: Spacious with loads of parking although no sign of any sand

The crowd: Ugandans, Asians, Eritreans and Ethiopians 

The menu: Pizzas: Margherita Shs25,000, Hawaiian Shs29,000, chicken Shs30,000, snacks and Bites: Beef nyama choma Shs30,000, Pork nyama choma shs 28,000, Fried marinated whole fish Shs36,000, Chicken, mango & avocado salad Shs25,000, Plain chips Shs12,000.

Beverages: Soda Shs4,000, local beer Shs7,000, Heineken beer  Shs14,000, a bottle of red wine Shs90,000, Johnnie Walker black label 750 ml Shs350,000

The bill: Two plates of so called marinated whole fried fish, one Red Bull can, three mineral water bottles, three sodas came to a staggering Shs114,000

What we did not like: The overpriced and lousy food.

Parking: Abundant and secure 

If you go: Daily, seven days a week and they are open until late.

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.