Olive Garden Café: Of olive trees, tasty food & a weight loss programme
For a first timer walking through the gates at Olive Garden Café & Bistro, you are left with a lasting impression. The look of the place resembles something out of a water art painting. The first thing you notice is the lush green environment around the grounds and the trees swaying in the wind that’s if it’s a regular sunny day in Kampala. It’s simply a beautiful sight to behold! Upon a closer look you notice that there are actually olive trees evenly spaced around the compound. To your immediate left is the Olive Garden Hotel and next to it are three grass thatched circular cottages. As you take a stroll through their parking lot, there is a sign to the reception area that directs visitors who want accommodation facilities at the hotel. Right through the parking lot is the café & Bistro which has only been in existence for just three months now (Since July, 2013).
Upon entrance into the café, the first thing you notice is the small bar area, you can eat either outside or inside. Their small wooden patio to your left upon entrance has 6 mahogany wooden tables and they all have one huge green tarp umbrella over them to provide shade during hot sunny or cold rainy days. The dining area is in a large grass thatched hut which is still open and with five dinner set tables and comfortable aluminum type seats, it can easily accommodate around 30 people at one time for dinner.
This hot Friday afternoon finds me in Bugolobi. My intentions are to pay a visit to Olive Garden Café & Bistro, I mean I am thirsty, half burnt by the sun and could use a breather. Having never been to Olive Garden Café & Bistro, all I know is that it’s on Plot 1/3 Luthuli Close in Bugolobi and anyone who knows Bugolobi well would attest that from Bugolobi Market to Luthuli Close, there’s a distance. Walking up to the bodaboda motorcycle stage, the bodaboda guy informs me that the cost is 2,000 UGX from Bugolobi Market. A few short cuts and a couple of minutes later we arrive at Olive Garden Café & Bistro.
A quick stroll through the parking lot and I am in the café. The breeze and coolness in the grass thatched hut attracts me to sit on the inside. The waitress attending to me quickly tells me that being a newbie at Olive Garden Café entitles me to a free coffee. On this particular occasion there’s a small crowd at the café, the Indian couple having chicken enchiladas and chips plus grilled fish fillet and chips (20,000 UGX). On the other table are two men and one is having plain chips masala (5,000 UGX) while the other is having fried pork and chips (18,500 UGX).
The huge A1 style laminated two-sided page menu has a bit of everything from salads and soups to sandwiches and burgers. There’s even a vegetarian and pasta corner on the menu. Turning to other side of the menu is the breakfast section which has a range of fresh juices, tea, chocolate, coffee, cold drinks, ice cream and a specialty corner.
Being a coffee addict, my eyes quickly perused through to the iced coffee section and in the specialty corner I discovered a gem. The Iced Coffee Deluxe whose ingredients consist of Iced Coffee (sweetened), cold milk and with a pinch of fresh vanilla ice cream and boy did it taste rich and good. A glass is totally worth the 12,000 UGX asking price. Their mocha is a close contestant too (8,500 UGX) and for those that don’t fancy sweetened coffee I would recommend their cappuccino (7,500 UGX single shot and 8,500 UGX double shot).
For a first timer at Olive Garden Café I would go with grilled chicken and chips (20,000 UGX) simply because Olive Garden Café specializes in a balanced mix of African and continental cuisine so this kind of meal cuts right across. The grilled chicken is verytasty, the chips are okay and served with a salad and pepper sauce. The portions are enough for one person.
While the food is obviously the main attraction of Olive Garden Café & Bistro, there are other factors that greatly influence the overall dining experience including the ambience and service. There isn’t too much décor to distract you from the dining experience and the service is fast. Like most café’s around town they offer free wireless which is really fast.
Olive Garden Café also specializes in delivery and take away for burgers and sandwiches all over Kampala and the transport charges depend on your whereabouts. Deliveries around Bugolobi are free and some places charged 1,000 – 2,000 UGX while a delivery in Kololo costs 5,000 UGX. They deliver American burgers (23,000 UGX), chicken and beef burgers (20,000 UGX), chicken sandwiches (18,000 UGX), vegetable sandwiches (15,000 UGX) and club sandwiches (20,000 UGX).
Not included on the menu is a special detox programme they have at Olive Garden Café. Recommended by Wellcare doctors, they use Well care health care products (Juices) to help those interested in losing weight. Their detox programme includes juice mixtures which include 5 glasses/ 11/2 Litres (3 red ones and 2 green). The detox programme takes 3 days and each day you take 5 glasses of juice with a glass of warm water and lemon juice and strictly no food. “Our detox programme works period. One client lost 10 Kgs in the said 3 days, two others lost 4 Kgs so as recommended by a Well care specialist I would encourage anyone looking to lose weight in a safe and healthy way to give it a try”. Said Christopher Seezi the barista at Olive Garden Café who is in charge of preparing these juices.
Olive Garden Café is busiest on the weekends starting from Friday evenings when they have the Mongolian night special and for only 25,000 UGX per person and you can eat as many meats as you can fit on a plate accompanied by a variety of vegetables. Saturday is Kenyan nyamachoma night while Sundays are Brunch days and for 25,000 UGX (adults) and 15,000 UGX (kids), you get breakfast and lunch at Olive Garden Café & Bistro.
For those looking for accommodation facilities, you should definitely give Olive Garden Hotel a try. With 17 Air conditioned rooms, a conference hall (45 people) and 3 cottages. The single rooms cost 70$ and the double rooms cost 85$. For those wishing to stay as long as a month it costs 1.300$. Cottages are self-contained and have two bedrooms, a small kitchen and dining area plus a living room. They cost 150$ per night and 2.000$ for a month.
Open Sunday to Monday from 7AM – 10PM. You can keep up with all the latest happenings at Olive Garden Café & Bistro by liking their Facebook page:
Mobile: +256 (0) 772 21 21 36/ +256 (0) 784 33 51 00