Before I even proceed, tell me if you do not love the ambience in the new Caramel Lounge? The interior is warm, maybe its the lighting or the woody shades of colour, whatever it is makes one feel comfortable. There are beautiful photographs on the wall that Nahida informed me were all taken by Ugandan photographers who won the Uganda Press Photo Award; Mohsen Taha, Waiswa James, David Gonahasa et al. It made me so proud to see how they are promoting local artists in the Cafe.
I like sitting outside because of the fresh air, I don’t like air-conditioning that much plus on the day I was there it was a beautiful bright day so it was ideal to sit outside. There’s a nice alcove at the entrance of the restaurant with a heavy breeze and a good view of the people passing by, that was always my favourite spot when it was still called La Patisserie so I decided to sit there and observe.
The moment I sat down a waiter with a really big smile walked towards me, his tag had Allan and he greeted me asking me how my morning is.
We went on with pleasantries then he brought the menu, here is the thing; in some restaurants, waiters never really know much about the menu but Allan seemed to know it well. I ordered for a breakfast combo (#2) which had beef and since I am still a beef newbie, I opted out of the beef strips. Allan stood there patiently while I gave him specific details of how I want my eggs, what shouldn’t be on my plate and what to drink, I felt like I was being difficult but he stayed patient and smiling down at me with helpful suggestions here and there.
While I was waiting, I went through their menu. I am always interested in knowing how affordable restaurants are especially in this economy where everything costs and extra kidney and half a clean liver. I think my favourite thing about Caramel are the prices; its not what I expected it to be for a high end cafe, everything including the drinks ranges from UGX 25, 000 to UGX 60, 000. The menu has European dishes from Norwegian to Italian gelato that makes you want to ask for more, habesha dishes with recipes from Ethiopia (I am yet to try injera btw.)
I waited for close to 20 minutes for my breakfast and it came in with a glass of fresh mango juice with the bits (I love me some pulpy mango juice). So the platter is made up of one sausage, choice of eggs(scrambled, omelette) several chicken strips (they gave me more since I do not eat the beef) two slices of bread ( not toasted) nicely done potatoes, a dollop of baked beans, a side of kacumbari, a few avocado slices, cubes of feta cheese, pineapple mint jam and olives. Basically a whole lot of food to fuel you through the day.
The spanish omelette was nicely done, nothing over powering and deliciously heavy. The sausage was crispy on the outside but so moist on the inside, the chicken wooooh the chicken was really deliciously flavoured and not dry. I am not much for bread but I did try a slice out with the jam, who knew that pineapple and mint make for really delicious spread? Not this Mugisu!!
I asked for chili because a girl cannot have a food without it and they brought me what they call the “habesha chilli,” it wasn’t that hot but it did the job. I will be honest with you, I didn’t finish the food it was a huge serving to be honest.
I really did think I was done then Vanessa (the general manager) came by my table to say hi, her and her beautiful eyes plus lilty Argentinian accent somehow convinced me into trying the ice-cream and cake. She took me through the menu especially the cocktails, their mixologist is so good. When you go there you should try the Sangria, especially the Kiwi sangria.
Anyways, back to Vanessa and her gorgeous eyes; we chatted about the ingredients, it turns out they source everything locally and make their own condiments except for the ketchup.
Caramel Cafe & Lounge is located at Acacia Mall, right before the entrance to the parking. The restaurant is not available for online orders but the bakery is on Jumia Food where you can order in your favourite baked goods. Caramel is open from 7am till when the last customer leaves and their breakfast menu is available all day so you can walk in at whatever time for your favourite combo (yeah I am biased to combo 2 so try that). You can also follow @CaramelUganda on Twitter to interact with them.