One of the many reasons that we love food is that it is a transport. Once it moves beyond just for survival, it can become a way to connect and to adventure; taking you and your palate to new places.
For a taste of Macau in Kampala, there is Café Latté, a beautiful restaurant and tea shop. Potted plants, flowers, lamps, balloons (remnants of a party) and a spectacular orchid from China transform the minute space into a cosy haven of God-oh-so-good food.
I had wonton soup with noodles and dumplings-and extra chicken dumplings.
A deep bowl filled almost to the brim with soup, noodles and fresh vegetables from parsley to green onion, carrots all the way to mushrooms (which are not vegetables).
Stir the soup a bit to reveal those wonton dumplings.
Let us spend most of our time here. The soup was very light in flavor. In fact, the spices, across all the dishes were light. The chef prefers that the food tastes like itself. That means that there is no MSG. I was told that one of its immediate results is that it makes you quite thirsty. There is the ever faithful soy sauce and chilli to help you kick things up as many notches as you might like.
This chilli was interesting; not very hot but really…big on flavour. PS: Someone told me taking photos like this one with dishes that have spillages is not cool.
My response? Hey that’s the reality. The food was eaten, it wasn’t plastic…the internet can handle un-edited, imperfect pictures. It will not explode.
The chilli is so good that clients ask if it is for sale. I wouldn’t have minded packing some of it honestly.
The veggies are all fresh. I wouldn’t say they are crunchy, rather springy. This creates a really great contrast with the softer noodles.
This was my first time eating dumplings and I had my fair share. The chicken wonton dumplings had a zing of ginger which gave a great kick to the calm meal. I underestimated just how filling they and the noodles would be so I also had a side of chicken dumplings.
In contrast to the wonton dumplings, these were slightly toasted and chewy and yet soft at the same time. Like the noodles and soup, the spicing is light so you will be able to taste the true flavor of the chicken. I am a chicken dumplings convert for life. You can opt for pork or fish dumplings too.
At the restaurant were two lovely ladies who were so psyched to tell me about the cuisine from Macau that they shared some of their food for me to taste. As a result, I ate stuff that was not part of my order. Such as the fish dumplings and the rich vegetable fried rice. I recommend the rice very highly. And I’m not the only one either; it is a favourite amongst clients, especially the locals.
I have had vegetable fried rice countless times but the freshness of the vegetables here and the lightness of the oil was transformative for the meal.
They (the ladies) told me that while the dishes are Chinese by definition, there is a Macau spin on them. Currently in Kampala, this is the only place you will find classic Macau cooking. Even the cakes are done a little differently and are more ‘light’ as a result.
Before we veer from Taste…there is a special menu at Caffe Latte…with no prices. One of the reasons these dishes are not priced is because of the special ingredients required. The chef needs you to book and tell her how many people you are so she can source your ingredients fresh.
However a lot of her clients trust her to choose these meals for them, only listing allergies or preferences. Want to try that? Call them on 0789169241 or 0751834449. Call the same number to order a meal off the regular menu too.
While the soup was hot, it was not scalding. And it actually remained warm for nearly the whole duration of that meal. That is some serious temperature setting technique. While the dumplings look slippery, they are not. Just nice and chewy, I imagine they would go down well with a beer.
The menu is wide and on there are items like frog legs (I didn’t have any, I wasn’t ready). But it also has continental meals. These are the guys with the famous Black Burger, Mugisherr has eaten it.
The stir fried dumplings go for 28k, The wonton soup with noodles, for 38k. Café Latté will be changing its name to Macau restaurant soon.
PS: This place had some teas that would make tea lovers drool. Prices oscillate anywhere from 5k for our black tea to 10k for Rose tea. >Ivan, I’m talking to you here.
PPS: Very nice staff in this place too.