#KlaRestaurantWeek: The Bistro
In between the Karuka bottle store and Checkers in Kisementi, is The Bistro, a hedged in oasis from the buzz of the greater Kamwokya area. The word “bistro” is French for a small restaurant and The Bistro combines the attributes of modesty and simplicity with elegance. This year, they bring a wide range of dishes with French and Italian influences to #KlaRestaurantWeek and we previewed a few of them for you.
There is a pattern of pastry wrapped or filled with savoury goodies amongst the appetisers on The Bistro’s Restaurant Week menu.
The Soft Tacos on a Log for example, is a trio of grilled tortilla wraps with three different filings all lined up on a wooden log with notches in which they are comfortably perched. There is the Vegetable Taco with a salty/sour tomato salsa; a Haloumi Taco in which the light, chewy cheese is combined with pungent onions and sweet corn for a more savoury combination; and the Chicken Taco with its tender, diced chicken.
Every taco is lined with a layer of guacamole that gives them a little moisture, a little consistency, and of course, a little Mexican authenticity.
Instead of the tacos, one may opt for the Cheese & Vegetable Pocket which is served with a tomato and cheese puree. Like an Italian calzone, this consists of cheese and assorted vegetables folded into a salty pastry and fried, instead of baked. Its outer layer is crispy to the bite and reveals melted cheese and tender vegetables whose herb-infused pungent flavour is balanced out by the slight sweetness of the tomato and cheese sauce.
You may carry on with the stuffed goods as you go into the main course with a Beef Cannelloni. This Italian delicacy traditionally consists of homemade pasta stuffed with beef.
Here it is served with both a tomato and basil based sauce, which seems like an intuitive accompaniment for minced beef and a spinach puree which is a lot saltier and herbaceous; both arranged in a delightful pattern.
The pasta itself is quite thin, making for an all around creamy sensation when the gooey, cheese infused mince and sauces fill your mouth; delicately balancing savoury and sweet flavours.
Out of the lake comes the Tilapia Paupiette. The fillet of what could easily be Uganda’s national fish is made into a spiral, attaching its opposite ends is breaded, then deep-fried, giving it the look of a bready fish doughnut of sorts. Topped with cold tartar sauce for a clash of temperatures, it is reminiscent of English Fish n’ Chips without the fluffy batter, the chips, or the oil-soaked newspaper.
For a vegetarian main, we have the Gouda and Leek Quiche.
Quiche is a French tart of sorts filled with savoury ingredients and baked open-faced. This particular quiche is a combination of eggs, cheese and leek (a long green vegetable akin to onions). It combines the taste of fluffy baked eggs with the sharp pungent flavour of gouda cheese.
For dessert, enjoy the Bananacelli Explosion, a dish whose textures are as intriguing as its flavours.
In an ice cream glass, we have layers of banana and vermicelli, with whipped cream in between. Vermicelli is a variation of pasta with noodles thinner than spaghetti baked till they are brittle and mixed with almonds and cookie crumbs to make a crumble like a high fibre muesli.
The crunchy and soft, nutty and sweet combination brought together by the whipped cream is so surprisingly good, you will definitely make a face on your first bite.
Photography: Julius Caesar Kasujja