La Petite France Restaurant And Rooftop Terrace
By John Magnay
Whatever happened to the Krua Thai Restaurant in Windsor Crescent, Kololo – it has been completely refurbished by the new owners and turned into “La Petite France Restaurant and Rooftop Terrace”; the first ‘chic’ French restaurant and Rooftop Tapas & Cocktail bar in central Kampala. The simple understated sign on Windsor Crescent for La Petite France is hiding the latest fine dining experience in Kampala.
The Rooftop Terrace Tapas & Cocktail bar is an ideal place for a sun-downer or evening cocktails – far better than trying to battle through the traffic after work, with delicious Tapas to go with your drink. The open-air rooftop terrace, partially shaded with sails, has views over the Kampala golf course and Nakasero. Apart from traditional drinks, beer (6,000/=) or spirits and mixers, there is a creative list of traditional cocktails – Margarita, Daiquiri, Vodka Martini but also something more exotic – I tried the Mango-Chilli Daiquiri (18,000/=) which was fabulous.
The Tapas menu is also worth trying – the West Indian deep fried speciality with two dipping sauces (10,000/=) went down very well and there is a range of about a dozen other choices ’to keep the wolf at bay’. During February and March, there will be theme nights: Tuesday – Ladies Night with 30% reductions, Wednesday – Flair Night with 30% reductions, Thursday – Jazz night, Friday – Whisky night and Saturday & Sunday with reductions on pitchers of cocktails to suit groups.
The La Petite France Restaurant is a little bit different for Kampala with a real French Maître d’, Bruno, who has all the charm and panache you would expect at a Parisian venue. The dining room is well run by a hierarchy of well trained staff and meals served with attention to detail and flair. The open air room with a thatched roof is quiet, cool and inviting. The tables are fully laid out for fine dining with floral table cloths for the lunch time menu and black and white table cloths in the evening. There is a Barbeque every Sunday from 12 O’clock until 9 pm.
The full menu is also different, my favourite starters are the salmon gravlax (a special) or the tartar selection of salmon or tuna (30,000/=) or the chilled cucumber soup with lemon and garlic (18,000/=). Just like the fellow diners around us, we tried each other’s dishes to discover which one was best. For the main course we chose Pan Fried Tilapia with lemon, tomatoes, capers and olives (36,000/=), Chateaubriand with pepper sauce and French fries (40,000/= for the giant 300gm and 26,000/= for the 150gm) and Pork chops in red wine sauce and dauphinoispotatoes (35,000/=) – each dish with very distinctive flavours. Don’t forget to order your side order of vegetables or green/mixed salad but these will cost you extra.
The wine list has a combination of French and South African labels; we chose a French wine at 90,000/= which complimented the food. The South African wines are somewhat cheaper.
Not that we really needed the dessert, we chose the Chocolate and Cointreau tart, Tart Tatin and Crème Brulee (each at 19,000/=), a fitting end to a perfect French meal. Looking around the restaurant, it was good see a combination of family tables, business tables and just friends enjoying a leisurely meal together.
Our bill came to 360,000/= including tips for 3 diners, we will be back to try the other dishes and quality service. Don’t forget to leave your email address for regular updates and specials. There will be some extra special dishes for Valentines’ evening.
For reservations, please contact:
La Petite France Restaurant and Rooftop Terrace
34 Windsor Crescent, Kololo, Kampala
Tel: (031) 2517068