Home Magazine Issues August-September 2012 Restaurant Review: Fort Portal

The Dutchess

By Kelly Forbes

A quiet gem in a leafy suburb of Fort Portal run and owned by an eclectic Dutch couple who seem to have taken on Fort Portal’s food requirements as a personal mission! Not only do they operate the best (and only!) pizzeria in town they are also processing cheese………. And have brought a smile to the faces of the local residents as a result.
Dutchess is a restaurant closely located to the main route through Fort Portal, Western Uganda. This newly opened restaurant/guesthouse will not only serve the local community but the numerous travellers that use this route to access Kibale Forest, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Semuliki National Park.
Dutchess is an old house that has been rehabilitated to an unpretentious calm space offering both inside and outside seating options and furniture made to their design.This is a slice of Holland in Fort Portal! The garden is being lovingly refashioned and will soon be a delight now that the rains have facilitated growth. The garden faces some towering eucalyptus trees and green fields, giving you the impression that you are not in town at all.
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, it is open every day of the week and it is a perfect place to stop for a break or a stop at the end of your journey for some good food and variety of juices, coffees and other drinks.
Lunch offers various items including salads, burgers, sandwiches ranging from 8,000-12,000 and dinner ranges from a starter from 4,000-6,000 and the main course from 17,000-19,000 which is very reasonable for the quality.
We went there for dinner on a cooler night to find a roaring fire already burning away. The owners showed us around explaining about the artwork that they are promoting from local artists that are funding themselves through school and selling art through thisestablishment.They have an internet café with 5 computers, printer and scanner facilities and Wi-Fi for those with their own laptops. This is the perfect place to send that email, very convenient to catch up with (or indeed ignore) those tiresome emails that seem to follow you nowadays.
The guesthouse is to open shortly with 4 double rooms and 1 single room at a very affordable rate of $60 per room bed and breakfast. They also have a conference room which can sit 25 people and has access to their balcony.
Not content with all that they also offer a Deli to the local community offering up such delights as homemade yoghurt, double cream, fresh cheese, mozzarella, gouda and quark. On offer in their deli are also local products that they use in their restaurant but don’t make themselves. Good African coffee, local peanut butter, local honey etc. And still not content with that they will open a small gift shop for those looking for something nice to take home.
We chose to start our dinner that evening with a French onion soup served with a toasted homemade bun. Following on from that, my partner chose their Flemish beef stew and I, a ginger chicken both served with mashed potato with a joint serving of a crisp salad and fresh vegetables. The chicken was moist and the sauce prepared excellently with intense flavours of ginger. My partner’s was a generous serving of tender beef with great flavours. The homemade cheese cake with fresh ice-cream to follow was a pure indulgence on our part, but we had it anyway! As we were trying to give a thorough review we had to sample two flavours of their ice cream (chocolate and coffee) and I think they even have a banana and toffee ice-cream .
I must reiterate that all of this is pure unadulterated home made fresh cuisine. From the fresh cream they are producing themselves, to the finest choice of meat in the area, to their loving care of every detail to their restaurant. They have designed every last inch of the place to their individual and unique style.
More information:
Dutchess, 11 Mugurusi Road, Fort Portal. Mobile: +256 704 879474. Email:info@dutchessuganda.com