When you receive a menu, your priorities and therefore brain determine what you see first. Maybe it’s the price, or your allergens. Mine saw free beer, yes i am one of those. A free Castle lite with every meal during Kampala restaurant week, at participating restaurants.
Next! I saw the options for the main course. Fish-been there, done that so maybe not. Chicken-been there, done that, but you can never go wrong with chicken.…then CityBlue Orb…not seen that. Looked interesting. Maybe yes? But before I decided to get it, I realized it was vegetarian and was back to tittering on the edge of indecision. vegetarian? Me? I mean, Chicken, pork, more chicken.
This wasn’t an inner monologue. Through it all was the bar tender seated on my right shoulder like the proverbial good angel; echoing and supporting every reason to try it; A chance to eat something new, we don’t really give vegetarian meals a lot of attention in Kampala, et cetera. I liked that bar tender. Lubrication from the beer and the tete-a-tete with him finally pushed me over the edge-not of the pool, but there’s one too, stay with me, pushed me over the edge and I ordered the 35k CityBlue Orb.
They look like meatballs! But meatballs set down on a ripple free river of sauce. The menu tells you what exactly is in this dish but that will not stop your mind from making up other ingredients. Surely there has to be more than carrots and spinach swathed in cheese-and yet not. At the centre of the dish is a sprinkling of red cabbage. Agitate it a little, let the maroon bleed into the cream and you’ll see a pretty color display. Or you know, don’t play with your food.
This sauce-I’m glad they told me how; blend cream with sweet corn because I have to try it in other iterations of my life. It was superb and sweet-ish which worked really well with the sharper spinach and cheese. At first the orbs felt a bit salty but I was educated. ‘Add a little more sauce’. It made a world of a difference. There is a lesson here. When in doubt, say something. At the very least, ask.
I dare you to finish all 6 of these alone. I tried, I failed. This meal is VERY FILLING. The person I gifted them to was shocked to realise there was no meat.
That sauce is hard to get over. Even in the midst of the cheese, its fresh smell comes through.
The tongue and not the fingers will act as our texture tool. The outside is crispy, think of a nice kindazi. The insides firm. The texture is chewy…like…meat. The sauce nice and thick.
There is background hotel music on play. Low. Thank God.
The bar tender passed by to ask me what I thought, and I told him, he was right. I was glad I had had it. Had he eaten it before? He had. Have vegetarians really been having this much fun behind our backs all along? Basically a chat between friends.
Side note: A peek into the regular menu showed that this isn’t your ordinary hotel restaurant and that their offerings aren’t bad at all. The club sandwich for instance goes for 28k and comes with chips and salad. Beer is 6k. Pass by for Kampala restaurant week, but pass by even after.
Café Mamba is located at Urban by CityBlue hotel on Akii Bua road, next to Emin Pasha.