NEW CHEF, NEW SET UP AND NEW MENU MAKE THIS SUNDAY BRUNCH VENUE IN KAMPALA A WINNER
(Posted 24th March 2017)
(New Executive Chef Vinz Karlsen personally puts final touches on the new brunch set up)
Brunch on Sundays has been, on and off, a major feature at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel. In fact do my memories go back to the early 90’s when the Sheraton was my regular Sunday hangout as the brunch seamlessly emerged from breakfast, enjoyed at the time as one of the few places where one could get a decent meal in decent surroundings at a decent price, though no doubt there will be comments about one man’s decent being another man’s something different.
New Chef Vinz Karlsen, now in Kampala for just about five weeks, has wasted no time and redesigned and redefined the Sheraton’s Sunday Brunch and on opening day last week was I invited to sample the new set up, taste the food and have a chance to talk to the new Executive Chef and his team.
Notable was the food display changed from one side of the Seven Seas Restaurant to the other. Two active cooking stations were introduced, a carvery and a grill, the latter located outside one the the large sliding windows next to the fourteen chafing dishes, all laden with good food.
The central food island, shaped like a boat – hence the name Seven Seas – too saw a shift of sweets, desserts and the salad bar and suddenly it all started to make a lot more sense compared to the often criss crossing in search of food in the past.
From starters, including a tasty Cream of Vegetable Soup to Salads, a range of main courses, condiments and accompaniments to exquisite desserts and of course the almost mandatory cheeseboard, nothing was lacking and quality and quantity of food was a perfect match, evidence that cuisine in Kampala has come a long way from what it once used to be.
Even a sweet active station was put in place to make waffles and pancakes with all the trimmings one can wish for, forgetting all about calorie intake for a day.
Competitions like the Kampala Restaurant Awards and the Kampala Restaurant Week have injected a new sense of culinary adventure and certainly higher expectations into the market and diners no longer accept mediocrity.
With at times stinging critique on social media has this new format of sharing one’s dining experience introduced a yardstick and benchmark for good food and good services and any restaurant lacking either will be punished by the market for failing their clients. Recovery from culinary disaster is painful at best and impossible at worst and a reminder to restaurateurs and hotel chefs that sharing a bad experience now is instant and unforgiving, especially when attitude comes into play to rub off patrons even more.
There are some acknowledged top ranked restaurants in Kampala now, the Sheraton’s Paradise and Seven Seas among them, but competition on this level is intense and the newly rebranded Le Chateau – Brasserie Belge or the Kampala Serena’s Pearl of Africa Restaurant make sure every one of the chefs, be it Vinz, Paul or Raphael, keep an eye on their competition to deliver a finely honed and keenly priced product mix of food and service.
The new Brunch set up at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel is without doubt offering great value for money, not the least for the free access to the hotel’s swimming pool and the play castles for the kids, who enjoy a substantial discount when eating lunch there with their parents.
With the 50th anniversary of the hotel coming up in October will no doubt the Sheraton be at the centre of attention and Vinz and his team of chefs will pull out more than just one rabbit from their chef’s hats when over the coming months introducing new menus and new culinary events to show that even, or maybe especially after half a century, institutional memory and brand recognition still make it one of Kampala’s top places to be.
Theme evenings, from Monday to Friday, too feature at the Paradise and Seven Seas as do themed breakfasts at the Victoria Restaurant, mentioned earlier in the week here. This all is aimed to keeping hotel guests in house and attracting patrons from across the city or other lodging places into the hotel, and ample free parking is an added benefit for diners.
What else is left to say but Bon Appetite and enjoy some of the hearty meals, wood fired pizzas included of course, at the various venues across the Sheraton Kampala Hotel.