II have been to The Lawns more than once and it was the first place to show me the big difference between night and day. During day, it is simply a chill place, the savana, their play with nature, the water, the little bridge and, of course, the friendly environment.
Of course as you look for a place to sit, all you will worry about is getting a place where sunlight will not become a distraction — you know the sun drama that knows no installed umbrella.
Yet when you visit the place at night, it is almost a new face; the way the well lit bridge plays with the water reflection, the plants and umbrella canopies are all a marvel to the eye.
It is a quiet place that gives you a chance to listen to your thoughts alongside waterfalls and jazz music whose volume is usually minimised.
For people who have visited as many Ugandan restaurants or hotels, the service box is always a hard one to tick. At times, the guy at the entrance will give you the right smile, the lady ushering you to the seat will follow up with perfect complements and then the people taking care of the order take ages.
At The Lawns, you are welcomed by a lady who will lead you in, giving you options between the rooftop, inside or just outside — this time round, she helps me get a seat she says is close to the waterfall view and just above a water stream.
Being here was supposed to be tricky, considering that I have been choosing a life of a vegetarian the past few weeks. Yes, and I was here being a vegetarian at the Wild Game Restaurant.
I had already looked at their menu and it was indeed wild, not that it lacked ordinary pork ribs or grilled chicken, much of it was crocodile with broccoli and spinach, venison kofte and springbok shock curry — the springbok, is that not South Africa’s national emblem?
The thought of eating other people’s national animals was as exciting but like I said, I am on my vegetarian life.
I settled for vegetables with coconut curry, recommended by my waiter, Patrick — it is a mixed vegetable simmering in coconut-based mild curry sauce served with salad, rice and naan.
When it comes to food, it is the presentation that matters most and they seemed to have nailed the simplicity. I guess it was because these were mostly vegetables — people are usually flashy while presenting food that has meat of any sort, they will bring it with a random fire, cream spread on one side of the tray and a mint leaf.
Mostly corporates. On an ordinary day, you will find yourself seated in between expatriates or dreadlocked people that are somehow later joined by a foreign friend. This crowd, though has varied with time, for instance, when Kenneth Mugabi used to play at the venue, the audience was a mix.
You do not go to The Lawns for breakfast, lunch and supper. Their menu is affordable but not ordinary. A bottle of water, for instance, goes for Shs4,000, which could be a meal for a certain Tom, my meal went for Shs36,000 with a Shs14,000 juice cocktail.
Located just near the Kampala Golf Course, the place is not easily accessible, especially for people that do not own cars, even leaving is problematic if one has not subscribed to a transport mobile application. But with a parking lot that big, I imagine carless clients are rarely in this vicinity.