If there are two things which set Piato apart from other restaurants in Kampala it is these: they have a great website which few restaurants invest in and they have a menu the size of a short novel.
The website is self-explanatory and can be found here: http://www.piatokampala.com/. (Here’s their Facebook just for good measure: https://www.facebook.com/Piatorestaurant). The menu, on the other hand deserves some exploration and explanation.
When faced with a 20+ page menu you might assume that about half the items won’t be available on any given day. However, the kitchen seems up to the challenge and nothing has ever been off the menu when requested. But where do you begin?
Always start at the beginning – page 1 – Piato has breakfast in spades. Whether you’re wanting a full English brekkie (called: The Piato), a full American breakfast, bit of light fruit and toast they’ve got it. Prices between 35,000-40,000 UGX for the full breakfast; Pancakes at 8,000 UGX.
Moving on you’ve got your soups, appetisers and ‘sensational salads’. Onion rings are served up hot and deliciously fried at 5,000 UGX and while the soups have failed to inspire, the Big Bang, Chicken Caesar and Greek salads (22,000-23,000 UGX) are the perfect lunch choice if you’re splashing out from your normal local.
Burgers and Indian fare follow and the next thing you know you’re to page 7 before you’ve even gotten to the steaks. These are hit and miss so order at your own peril. From 28,000-45,000 UGX, they’re what you would expect price-wise and, at times, are perfectly grilled and succulent. At others, they’re overcooked and you’ll wish you had kept turning the pages.
You’re not even half way through. There chicken and fish next, then sizzlers and stir fry and you’ve finally got to pasta by page 9 (stay away – they don’t serve it quick enough to make it worthwhile). Then come the pizzas (all 22,000 UGX) and all solidly good but not the best in Kampala. Followed by the evening fare – read: LOTS of meat for between 15,000-60,000 UGX.
Wait! You’re only on page 12 – surely there aren’t 8+ pages of more food. No. There are 8+ pages of drinks. You might not have thought it possible but, yes, there are more drink choices on Piato’s menu than any other place in town. Go anywhere else after Piato’s and you’ll be forever disappointed by the drink choices on offer. Juices, cold beverages, hot beverages, and…but wait…
Snuck in there on page 14 before you get to soft drinks and beers of every kind and variety, are a disappointing four (!!) desserts (we’re on page 14 – couldn’t they muster more than four choices?).
Turn the page though and you’ll forget all about it as there are aperitifs, bourbons, single malt whiskies, scotch whiskies and a vodka list that would make the Russians blush. If you can close the menu and not found something to suit every taste at your table you aren’t going to find it in Kampala.
Being located immediately next to the French Embassy is handy for attracting a lunch crowd which Piato clearly does. Whether you have a breakfast or lunch meeting – or even after dinner drinks – Piato is the place. There’s plenty of outdoor seating on about four different patios with comfortable outdoor furniture and umbrellas to shade from the sun during midday. The bar and inside seating is sleek and modern so perfect to impress if sleek and modern is the look you’re going for. .
Service is anything but speedy so you if you’ve only got an hour over lunch break make sure to make a point of it when ordering.
Piato is open Monday-Friday from 7:00am-11:00pm; Saturdays from 8:00am-12:00am; and closed – sorry if you’re looking for that breakfast after your big night out on Saturday – on Sundays. You can call them on: +256 312.516.388.