Frontis Hotel: Where great food meets class

Frontis Hotel: Where great food meets class
Frontis Hotel: Where great food meets class

Africa-Press – Nigeria. To say that there is such a thing as a definitive buffet is a complete misnomer and a no brainer. Uhuru Restaurant defines his buffet as a plate with compartments, comprising the main meal, which could be rice or matooke, sauce, fried beans and a piece of meat.

All in all, one might as well say that it is rather a self-denying set up, but then again price is always a determining factor and for less than a tenner and a fiver, who is complaining? Surely there are many a buffet to be found in Kampala, which are priced between the Shs20,000 and Shs30,000 or thereabouts.

Fontis Residential Hotel is a 42-room, beautifully designed in Mediterranean architecture and is situated in the very prime location of Nakasero, not far from the Sheraton Kampala Hotel and Kampala Golf Course.

This past Sunday, fellow trencherman and I with our little niece Amani in tow, spent a leisurely afternoon indulging in the Fontis Hotel Sunday brunch, which can best be summed as offering a trio of mains, with a decent array of accompaniments delicious and in plenty.

When you are a prime hotel located plum in the centre of town with parking assured and easy access, anytime you contemplate doing a buffet setting, come up with an angle, something that not only will the customers remember, but will keep them coming back for more.

After all, when you have dropped Shs120,000 per person, there is nothing that will stop you from going back for more ad nauseam and indeed, until we left, around six people were seen going about getting seconds and thirds as though there was no tomorrow.

The key thing was that there was no let-up or shortage when it came to making sure that the refills were never empty. It was not unusual to observe one loaded with a full plate of goat mchomo or chicken.

A soup is always a precursor of how good the food before us will unfold and in this case, it was pumpkin soup with ginger. The history of pumpkin soup begins with the celebration of the independence of Haiti on January 1, 1804.

The Haitians worked together to create a unique soup to celebrate their independence from the French. Pumpkins and squash grow favourably in Haiti and with imagination, they came up with pumpkin soup, which is traditionally called Soup Joumou and is very popular on New Year’s Day. With plenty of ginger and bright and zesty orange, this silky pumpkin and ginger soup was like a burst of sunshine in a bowl.

After the soup, over to the main courses and one could not help, but marvel at the brown rice (whole grain with the inedible outer hull removed) that was embellished with a potpourri of spices and vegetables. It gave it an unusual tonic, delectable and wonderful aroma.

The matooke more than lived up to its expectation and what would matooke be without ground nut stew? The two are inseparable. The vegetables in season were a simple medley steamed and coated with olive oil, salt and pepper.

The sautéed potatoes, linguine and fresh pea sauce, were par for the course while the barbecue goat was tender, tasty and wisely taken from the leg of goat allowing one to get chunky boneless morsels.

The fish fingers were perfectly golden, crunchy and hard to believe that they were oven baked rather than fried. These formed part of the trio of meats capping it off with a chicken stew.

These would have been even tastier had the chef used a stewing chicken female laying hen as the meat is older and tougher, forming the perfect type of meat for a stew.

It would be nice if the powers that be would see it fit to offer us the Fontis buffet, at the very least once a month.

Place: Fontis Residential Hotel

Address: Plot 40 Kyadondo Hotel, Nakasero Kampala

Smoke-Free Zone: Applicable in the public areas

Recommended items: The occasional Sunday buffet

Service: Good

Ambience: Informal, lovely and spacious

Open: Daily seven days a week though the buffet is an occasional event

Menu: The Fontis Sunday Buffet: Pumpkin soup with ginger, steamed rice, brown rice, sautéed potatoes, linguine, steamed matooke, vegetables, ground nut sauce, stewed fresh green peas, fried fish fingers, barbecue goat meat and chicken stew

The Crowd: Funnily enough bevies of women dressed to the nine and well-heeled Ugandans

The Bar: A good selection of wines, cocktails and drinks of all nature

The damage: The buffet is priced at Shs20,000 while children under 12 pay Shs60,000

Sound level: Good

Rating: Not to be missed

Parking: Underground and very secure

RATINGS: Not to be missed, worth a visit, OK/so so, don’t waste your time.

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