Restaurant Troll Friday: Issue III

On this #RestaurantTrollFriday adventure, I want to try new foods, challenge myself with dishes I’ve never tasted or cooked. There can’t be any guaranties that I’ll like the taste of the food, or that I’ll pull it off in my kitchen on the first attempt, both in terms of taste and presentation. But I guess that’s what makes the whole experience worthwhile.

In this week’s escapade, I found myself at Cafesserie on Acacia Mall in Kamwokya, also known as Maison De Qualite, which is French for “House of Quality.” If you’re looking for a cozy restaurant for a romantic evening, you and your favorite person sipping on your favorite coffee with soft romantic music playing in the background. Then you may like Cafesserie. The food is also great, and I find their ice cream somewhat addictive.
But I wasn’t there go for ice cream this time, I was in a mood for something fishy and exotic, something like octopus. I’ve only eaten octopus once before and the experience was less than marvelous. I found the oddly fishy smelling blob rather chewy, sort of like eating rubber. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t finish it either, maybe I just didn’t know what to expect. It’s been over two years since I had this meal at this place and I was hoping my palates have got a little more sophisticated to accommodate fishes from beyond the Ugandan waters.

Unfortunately, octopus was not on the menu for the day so I had to choose from the available seafood options.

Hmm…I’ve never tasted prawns before. I though. “Hey, I see this Chili and Lemon Prawns with garlic and olive oil, served with flute bread. Is it an order a hungry man would make?” I asked the waiter as I examined the menu.

“I am not sure you’ll find that filling.” He leaned in, pointing at a different item on the menu. “May I suggest that you try these other prawns, pan fried with onions, zucchini, parsley, and garlic, served with rice?”

Detailed as the explanation was, it was hard to draw a mental picture of something I’ve never seen before, but I braved it and placed the order.

My order was delivered promptly but while my guts cringed at the sight of prawns, my eyes were impressed by what they saw. I took the first forkful in my mouth and I realized I could actually get used to this. It was a sauce rich in flavors, even with herbs as potent in flavor as parsley, I could still taste the wine in the sauce. If I was to rate this food on a scale of 1-10, I would give it an 8.

The challenge was to recreate the same dish at home. I wasn’t sure where I could buy prawns, but I figured I could find them in supermarkets like Shoprite. And I did. The biggest problem was, the price of prawns is not for the faint hearted. This could have made more financial sense if I could cook them at home for family dinner, but with my wife being allergic to anything fish(y) and my sister’s conservative palates, I couldn’t part with Ugx. 70,000/= for food that people at home wouldn’t eat with me, so I settled for a cheaper alternative. Something from the sea though not exactly prawns; a seafood mix of crab flavored sticks, octopus, mussel meat and monkfish.


I bought my vegetables from Nakasero market and added the remaining ingredients I already had at home.

One admission I’ll make though is that this is one of those dishes I call “capital intensive.” One that would cost you an arm and a leg to recreate at home unless you have a well-stocked kitchen and fridge. Let’s look at the shopping first.


Lemon…………………..300

Onion…………………….200

Garlic……………………..500

Zucchini………………….500

Rice………………………..13,000

Dill…………………………..500

Parsley…………………….500

Butter………………………6,000

Cabbage…………..………1,500

Chicken stock………….500 

Cooking cream…………13,000

Seafood mix……………..8,000

This alone adds up to about UGx. 45,000/= and that’s after avoiding  the actual prawns that cost over UGx. 60,000/= and a bottle of white wine. Just those two would cost more than UGx. 100,000/=


Of course, if you’re going to cook this for bigger numbers, the cost will be relatively much cheaper. But if you’re looking for a one off, you may be better off coughing that Ugx. 41,000/= at the restaurant and go.


Verdict for my attempt, way off mark. It was a good experience though, onto the next one.

Below is the food I bought, above is my cheaper attempt to recreate the same food.
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