Restaurant Troll Friday is a new adventure I’ve embarked on. I pick a random restaurant, go and order a meal, then try to replicate it at home and see if I pulled it off and at what cost before I write and share my experience with fellow foodies every Friday. Some times I’ll be comparing the same dish cooked in different restaurants and hopefully, the reviews will help some people make am informed decision on what to eat and where.
This is only the second week for the restaurant trolling, but some people have already expressed qualms about it so I’ll start this post by explaining the rationale for #RestaurantTrollFriday. Contrary to what some people are accusing me of, my goal is not to collapse people’s businesses or depict them as thugs who only exist to fleece us of our hard earned money. No!
Restaurants are businesses and businesses are expected to make profits, it’s the only way they can stay in business, so the next time you get a craving for that Jerk Chicken, you can always find it at your favorite restaurant without having to wait through the whole preparation and long marination hours before you can quench your craving.
The problem is that there are people out there who think that nice jerk chicken can only be eaten at certain restaurants where it’s grilled by a Jamaican chef on a braai welded from metal scrap remnants from the mosaic tabernacle box. People who give up on eating good food because they think they can’t afford it, the lot that sneak away from their families and treat gorge on grilled pork and whatever makes their bellies fat while their family members struggle with a diet that threatens them with beriberi, just because they can’t afford to take the whole family out.
What I am trying to tell these people is that you can afford the good shit you see out there on restaurant menus, your wife and children can also partake in this yumminess every weekend. You would be surprised how cheap it can be to whip up a fancyass dish if you prepared it yourself.
After impressing that chick you’re vibing by how many cool places you know, dazzle her with what she can only refer to as kitchen sorcery. Raise that bar for your man’s “side dishes” by preparing him a dish that will blow his mind away. Drape on that apron on Sunday after church and ask your wife to go watch her favorite series as you grill her steak she likes to order when you eat out.
These things are possible, and they can be done by you. You’ll also be guaranteed to save because unlike the restaurant that has chefs, waiters, cleaners, managers, rent and whatnot to spend on, because they definitely add on the cost of the food; you don’t have these costs, so you’ll definitely save.
Restaurant food can get to your dinning table without coming as takeout. But I call this trolling because I am sure the restaurants will be less than enthusiastic about the idea, especially because it may reveal the fact that most of this food can be prepared at a fraction of the cost.
And now, for our first review, we are reviewing at an item I ordered from the Light Breakfast Section of the Java House menu.
I went to this restaurant for a breakfast meeting. I didn’t choose the venue for the meeting, it was chosen by Tina because, if I may quote her, “it’s convenient and the quiet ambience can actually let you have a meeting without the distractions and crowds you’d expect in a restaurant like say, cafe Java’s.” And I do agree with her on that point.
I don’t eat out Java House much, a fact which may be influenced by the not-so-positive remarks I’ve heard about their service from people like Sandie. Personally, I’ve not experienced this poor service, I just don’t like that I have to part with UGx 4,000/= for a 300ml soda.
On this particular day though, I flipped through the breakfast page of the menu and I thought a fruit salad with yoghurt, honey and nuts sounded like a good way to kickstart the day.
Cost, UGx. 14,000/=
So that’s what I ordered and the waitress was prompt with delivering my order.
It was the first time I ate this fruit salad and I loved it, especially the flavor that the honey lends to the fruit combination. I like how the cold yoghurt melted on my tongue like ice cream, and then the tidbits of extra sweetness that kept sliding off my tastebuds every time I took a scoop with bits of passion fruit seeds. I didn’t enjoy biting into the passion fruit seeds though, especially when I thought I was butting a nut, but the jittery feeing was a price I was willing to pay for the experience as a whole.
What I didn’t appreciate very much though was how scanty their fruit variety was. I don’t know if they thought because everything was hidden under yogurt I wouldn’t tell, but I could tell that that plate was about 80% bananas, not more than 3 grapes, like 1/4 of an apple, 1 passion fruit spooned over it, another spoon of honey glaze, a few nuts sprinkled on top and another halved grape for top garnishing.
What I don’t know is if this is the same assortment they serve for a plain fruit salad which goes for UGx 11,000/= or they do a little less bananas and throw in some strawberries, cherries, kiwi fruit and whatnot when there’s no yogurt to conceal what’s underneath.
So I decided to go try this out myself at home and see how it would come out and how much it would set me back to prepare a similar salad.
⁃ Jesa thick Vanilla yoghurt 3,000 (serves two)
⁃ 1 Apple… 1,000 (serves two)
⁃ 1 pack grapes …8,500 (serves more than 15)
⁃ 1 orange …1,800 (serves 2)
⁃ 1 mango … 1,000 (serves 2)
⁃ 4 passion fruits … 1,000 (serves 4)
⁃ 1 cluster bananas … 2,000 (serves 5)
⁃ Ground nuts … 600 (serves 5)
⁃ Honey … Already had at home but costs about 6,000 (serves more than 20)
Grand total you would spend if you didn’t have any of the ingredients UGx 25,900/=
How much I spent because I already had the honey UGx 19,900/=
What it cost me to produce just one serving UGx 5,050/=
I replicated the same salad and it came out slightly better in taste (probably because of the orange juice I squeezed on top). About the appearance, I think the restaurant plating beat mine, but I’ll get better at this.
In the picture below, left is the restaurant food, right is mine.
Everything you need is up there. Just was the fruits, you may want to peel the apple, slice the fruits, mix with the yogurt, garnish with the passion fruits, serve.
Try it out yourselves, let me know how it goes for you.