Seeking roast pork in the heart of Kampala

Friday May 3 2013

By PETER MUGARURA

Uganda was recently ranked eighth on the list of top alcohol consumers in the world, a rather unfortunate tag if you ask me.

However, if you ever find yourself in this city, then on top of the beer you should add roast pork to that list — there’s as much pork sold in Kampala as there are beer crates emptied.

It is on this note that I became a self-styled connoisseur and set out in search of Kampala’s best roast pork. This, however, was no easy feat given the fact that there are probably as many roast pork joints as there are bars in Kampala.

My first stop was at Deep-Blue Pork Joint in Wandegeya. This is a part of Kampala that never goes to sleep, especially because Makerere University is within the precincts and so a huge portion of its student population resides here.

Wandegeya is a busy place dotted with hostels, boutiques, fast-food restaurants, bars and pork-joints.

When I arrived at the Deep-Blue Pork Joint on a Wednesday at about 7 pm, the place was already crowded.

The crowd here is your average Kampala businessman, civil-servant, corporate person and students of the University.

It is arranged like the food courts you will find at any modern shopping mall. Deep-Blue houses four separate kitchens, and waitresses jostle for customers. It’s quite a busy place in the evenings when the rush hour traffic is at its peak,

Although I had planned to have just one “stick” — a few pieces of seasoned roast pork on a skewer — I ended up having three. The pork was very tasty. It costs some Ush3,000 ($1.7) per “stick” — which is a friendly enough price.

At Jogloz pub

The following day, I visited Jogloz Pork Joint in the Naalya area on the outskirts of Kampala. The place has spacious gardens, with a homely feel. This joint is frequented by Kampala’s young urban working class most of whom reside in the adjoining suburbs.

My roasted pork had a deliciously sweet aroma that did not disappoint. It turned out to be quite tasty. It is served with tomatoes, cassava and green vegetables. The downside, however, is that it is on the high end, costing Ush 7,500 ($2.9).

The next stop in my quest was Rhino Pork Joint. It’s perhaps one of the oldest pork joints in town, located by the roadside in the Ntinda-Kigowa area of Kampala. On the day I visited, it was a hive of activity.

Being a Saturday afternoon, the English Premier League reigned supreme. The meat was succulent and pocket-friendly, selling for about Ush4,000 ($1.5) per “stick”.

But the top prize goes to Kyadondo Rugby Club, the scene of the July 2010 bomb blasts that happened on the night of the Fifa World Cup finals.

Three years later and this place is still as lively as it was before that fateful night. It’s located in Lugogo, and on an average weekend it has a couple of rugby games taking place.

The setting allows patrons to watch a rugby game or training session as they delight in what could be the best roast pork in Kampala.

I am not very good at roasting anything but one thing I have is fully functional taste-buds, which is why I can confidently proclaim the roast pork here is top of the charts.

Or perhaps it could also be the fact that it allows you to watch a rugby game or training session as you indulge. Or maybe because the place was teeming with people. I know, it almost feels like a school reunion — so many acquaintances to run into make the already well, roasted, seasoned and sweet pork an even tastier experience.

This story is a response from Uganda to a piece we carried three weeks ago on where to find roast pork in Dar titled, “ Kiti moto: Tanzania’s ‘undercover’ delicacy”