Cafe Mebanas is one of the latest cafes to open in the rich neighbourhood of Nakasero. Kafu Road all the way to Kyadondo Road is fast becoming a unique food hub with about four other restaurants within a five minute walk of each other. Having opened earlier in 2012, it’s fast becoming the new secret spot to impress friends and of course, the ladies.
This boutique outfit is located right on Twed Towers in fine vicinity of the The Fairway Hotel. Once you drive past it, you may think it is just another one the commercial Kampala eateries we’ve slowly become accustomed to but no!
Quite naturally my first knowledge of Mebanas came through the grape vine until one lonesome Friday evening found me along with a couple of friends at Mebanas’ doorstep. My first impression, judging from the smartly different woody interior, was that this is definitely not just put together hurriedly to attract a crowd. It was personal. On meeting the owner, a Ms. Lorika, it was evident that the warm inviting aura of this café was an extension and reflection of her individual personality.
Right from the exterior design, which is a well architectured tent structure with plantain designed burglar proofing moulded into wood casing, to the very ornaments and floral concoctions on the table, Cafe Mebanas is a class apart. The furniture is all handpicked and recycled wood and the ornaments on the table are made from recycled glass. Talk about being eco-friendly! The aged tobacco coloured wood that is cured and polished with Tik oil gives it that vintage appeal. One thing that will hit you once you are seated at your table is the spacious feel, it is like everything is carefully measured for you.
As it was a Friday evening, a lot of the people who were there had just got off work so it was largely a business casual and very polished crowd. It was refreshingly breezy and quiet, just what I was looking for at the end of the week. The soft music in the background was reminiscent of the 60’s and 70’s as it was the classics from the Bee Gee’s.
As soon as we sat, our waiter Alfred came to welcome us. We weren’t bombarded with menus and a waiter with a pen and a pad hovering about our heads to take our order. He made sure we were comfortable before bringing the menus out. The restaurant manager Dheeraj was quite helpful in making sure we were comfortable and kept checking on everyone.
I ordered the Chicken Wok a stir fried chicken with Sesame Seeds and had the option of mashed potatoes, French fries or steamed rice, of which I had the latter and my guests ordered the lamb burger with fries. For starters I had the option of having a salad or a soup with my meal and I chose to go for a salad which was very fresh and had a variety of options. I had the apple salad with egg custard boats which was very soft on the tongue. As impressively, the starters we’re compliments and came at no extra charge!
For dessert we opted for the Chocolate and passion fruit soufflé which was absolutely gorgeous!! It went down very well with everyone and for me, it went down quite fast.
The price friendly menu puts all dishes at less than 25,000 shillings, which for a place on the upside of Kampala is quite a steal. Cafe Mebanas cuts a fine figure with its vintage aesthetic, spacious dining, friendly staff and unique take on classic dishes.