In Kampala, the mere yearning for traditional Ganda dishes and pilao attracts interest to the robust restaurants of 2K, Senanayake, and Feedrite. These eating places are spread all around the metropolis and command big clients starting from CEOs to the corporate and all of us who can find the money for to spend large on nearby meals.
What’s greater, they may be all related through 3 brothers, Yusuf Mukiibi, Juma Kinene, and Abdul Wahab Senanayake. HASSAN BADRU ZZIWA tracks down their starting place and what makes these eating places unique.
Give me all the pizzas and frittatas you need, but few foods taste higher than our conventional foods, particularly while served with steamed stews, or luwombo, a cuisine especially related to the Kiganda lifestyle.
In that subject, 2K Restaurant in Bukesa and close to the Old Taxi Park, Feedrite Restaurant on Kanjokya street, Bukoto, and Senanayake Restaurant in the back of the Wandegeya principal marketplace stand out.
And in case you have been wondering why the meals taste almost comparable, notwithstanding the exclusive restaurant names and addresses, it’s miles because the recipes are identical and shared, regardless of ownership being special.
Their mastery is a result of many years of experience, as well as the business-oriented improvements which have seen them stick out from the rest. And in an era, while increasingly human beings are conscious about fitness, many Ugandans are running away from junk meals to neighborhood dishes. But as way returned as 1947, a youthful Yusuf Mukiibi had foreseen this.
Mukiibi is the surviving patriarch of this meals empire and family. I met him at his domestic in Makindye, wherein he narrated the common-or-garden beginnings of what was Sanyu restaurant before it expanded to create different devices.
Back within the 1940s, Mukiibi says, the most commonplace manner of preparing food in Kampala eating places turned into via frying.
“I had simply come to Kampala from Butambala but I had learned the basics of cooking throughout village get-togethers,” says Mukiibi, who’s in his nineties now. “White-collar Ugandans working in workplaces cherished to taste European and Indian cuisines and several top eating places in Kampala suburbs in general prepared exotic foods.”
“I didn’t want to go together with the bandwagon and my idea of a want to innovate with our conventional dishes.”
Mukiibi’s first venture became Sanyu restaurant in Kisenyi alongside Musajjalumbwa street.
“It becomes a busy location; a hub for buying and selling and become no longer a slum as it’s miles these days. So, we specialized in local food with luwombo (sauce steamed in fire-treated banana leaves) and on common a plate value one shilling,” he remembers. “My purchasers turned into mainly humans around the location and some workers on the Kabaka’s palace. It is ordinary, but traders from Kenya and India significantly loved to flavor our traditional meals as it changed into particular.”
When business picked up, he went returned domestic to Kibibi for backup. He failed within the quest to convince his elder brother Juma Kinene to tag alongside, however someway controlled to steer the younger brother, Abdul Senanayake, to enroll in him in Kampala as a cashier.
“He turned into nevertheless in college however I didn’t believe the way my people handled the money,” a jolly Mukiibi says.
Senanayake Restaurant is born
Senanayake’s arrival as a cashier significantly relieved Mukiibi, who improved his enterprise acumen via joining pass-border trading, leaving Senanayake to run the eating place show. By the early 1960s, Senanayake had mastered the fundamentals of coping with a restaurant and left Sanyu to begin his very own, Senanayake eating place.
“We had grown to be too huge and he needed his huge spoil. He installed his first restaurant inside the Kisenyi neighborhood, however later moved it to Katwe and later Bwaise,” says Mukiibi.
In a surprise twist, Sanyu restaurant would later near whilst the kingdom incarcerated Mukiibi in Luzira jail at the height of the 1966 Buganda crisis. But upon release in 1971 when Idi Amin took energy, Mukiibi did not resume his restaurant enterprise and rather left the shine to Senanayake.