#KlaRestaurantWeek : Café Mamba
The Restaurant formerly known as Mamba Point moved up the road from its former address in Nakasero to Urban, a member of the City Blue chain of hotels. As you leave the reception and walk down the otherworldy white corridor decked with monochromatic photos of The Eiffel Tower and other prominent foreign spectacles, you emerge into a courtyard with a pool and poolside restaurant, Café Mamba. For 2016’s restaurant week, they are serving up a variety of dishes from cucumber based crockery to fried ice cream. This is not a drill. Below are some highlights from the menu they have put together this year.
Cucumber Cups are something of a salad reimagined.
A trio of hollowed out cucumber halves sticking up at angles are presented overflowing with a chicken and curry mayo paste. The entire set up is garnished with honey salsa which looks a lot like kachumbari (though with more flakes of green) but brings a dash of sweetness to the party (which explains the honey part). Crunching into the cups, one is reminded of a chicken mayo sandwich with cucumber instead of bread until you taste the subtle syrupy flavours of the salsa that contrasts and completes the delightfully cold first bite.
Toasted Almond Tilapia with Local Mango Salsa and Apricot Paste is a mouthful to say and a mouthful to savour.
Uganda’s most popular and common fish is filleted and grilled with almonds and then plated on a surprising bed of spinach fried in butter with a little garlic.
The nutty flavour of the tilapia is very well complemented by the garlic infused spinach, with almonds giving the otherwise soft combination a little crunch.
What about the Local Mango Salsa and Apricot paste, you ask. A combination of diced tomatoes, onions, oranges, lemon juice and coriander, the salsa, when drizzled over the fish as garnish balances its savoury tones with sweet zest. Get all that on a fork at the same time and relish a complex balance of flavours and textures coming together for a dish that tastes as new as it tastes familiar.
Are you sitting down? Okay, good. One of the highlights of Café Mamba’s menu is undoubtedly their fried ice cream, which, when you say it out loud actually sounds like an oxymoron.
A delicious oxymoron *heavy breathing*. Bakikola batya?
A scoop of either chocolate or vanilla ice cream (or both) is coated in crushed cornflakes and deep-fried into a crumbly golden ball of goodness and garnished with dry fruit. When you crack the hardened outer crust, sitting there like an icy surprise is the scoop of ice cream still intact, but having soaked some of its cream into the inner walls for insulation.
Whoever said being hot and cold was a bad thing had not tried the deep fried ice cream with its warm crumbly outer crust and softer, gooey inside providing a base for the ice cream’s jolt of coldness.
Whether you get the vanilla, or the chocolate, or both (we recommend the latter), you are in for a truly exciting dessert experience.
Photography: Julius Caesar Kasujja