REFLECTIONS FROM A LONG TIME RESIDENT
By Craig Kinnear and Esther Ludwell
Tamarai Restaurant, Tea Bar and Lounge are located at No: 14 Lower Kololo Terrace in a quiet peaceful neighborhood just off the bustling Acacia Avenue. From the moment you arrive you are greeted by the team of hostesses and by the manager, you feel a sense of comfort and we both remember that even on our first visit, only two days after the restaurant had opened, we were made to feel like regulars.
After enjoying a cup of toffee apple and mint tea, presented in beautifully designed matching crockery and glass teacups, we were shown to our table and handed the menus. The menus are well presented and cover all the well known Thai recipes that one would expect. Of course this is great for vegetarians and meat lovers alike as most dishes have a choice of vegetables, beef, pork, chicken, fish, prawns, and lobster. The menu also kindly states which items contain nuts and which meals are very spicy. One must take into account that traditionally Thai food is spicy and Tamarai has definitely not deviated from this tradition!
Food usually arrives between 20 to 30 minutes from ordering. For starters we shared the Vegetarian Platter, a delicious combo of konjee crispy mushrooms, dim sums, and spring rolls, accompanied by a variety of traditional Thai sauces including spicy sweet chili, soy, and a smooth satay sauce. We also had Tom Kha Kai (a creamy coconut and chicken soup with lemongrass and ginger flavours) which was a taste sensation and we would definitely recommend it! Our main course was just as satisfying. The Lamb Keang Masman (a peanut and potato curry) was cooked to perfection with just the right amount of kick, and plenty of meat mixed into the peanut sauce. The Thai Green Curry was smooth and creamy as one would hope for, with tender chicken pieces and went perfectly with Jasmine Rice. Our average total food bill for two, including starters, mains, a couple of alcoholic drinks, sodas and water, is around 125,000UGX.
The service on most occasions is outstanding from the moment one of the hostesses seats you at your table, and we felt well taken care of. The waiting staff are not intrusive but never far away and have a very good knowledge of the menu. If all else fails they have kindly put a bell on your table should you need to ring for service.
Tamarai offers three great venues in one. They have created the first tea bar in Uganda and offer over fourteen varieties of teas imported from Sri Lanka. These can be enjoyed either hot or cold, or you can even choose from a selection of tea mocktails. They have also catered for those who wish to have a quiet drink or entertain clients or friends with a bar area that is well stocked as well as a snack menu if you are feeling peckish! The bar area is equipped with televisions, free wifi and comfortable furniture which makes one feel at ease. The restaurant has décor that one is not used to seeing in Uganda; comfortable cushions and white curtains, fountains and fairy lights, accompanied by soft Thai music, which together create a warm and welcoming ambience and gives the restaurant an out of Ugandan feel. The tables are far enough apart to allow you to have an intimate conversation whilst still feeling part of the relaxed environment that Tamarai offers. As for the toilets, these are well maintained and smell clean and fresh.
Tamarai caters for children by providing high chairs which are readily available, although as of yet there is no separate children’s menu.
Having visited Tamarai almost every week since it opened a short time ago, we can surely say we are big fans! The food has always been very appetizing, and we have had many enjoyable and relaxing evenings at Tamarai as a couple, and also shared with friends. Since this is a popular new ‘eat out’ spot, it’s best to book in advance to secure yourself a table and avoid disappointment!
For more information, please contact:-
Tamarai Restaurant, Tea Bar and Lounge
14 Lower Kololo Terrace, Kololo, Kampala
Mobile: +256 755 794958 / +256 755 794960