Where Uganda has taken roasted and fried pork to an art form neighboring Kenya has their own: Nyama Choma, or roasted beef. In fact, Nyama Choma means ‘roasted meat’ in Kiswahili.
Nyama Choma is prepared by basting chunks of beef with a mixture of salted water while it roasts on the grill. It takes an average of thirty minutes to prepare and roast and is served either on a large plate or tray depending on the quantity you have ordered. When ordering, and depending on how many kilos you are prepared to consume, you can usually choose which you beef cut you prefer.
Nyama Choma is served either chopped into bite-sized pieces or brought as whole. As is custom, it is always served with side dishes like Kachumbari (a salad of diced tomatoes and onions), Ugali (a thick porridge made from maize meal), Mukimu (a dish made from a mixture of maize, potatoes and mashed vegetables) or French fries. Much like with pork, it is common for Nyama Choma fans to have a drink or two as they devour their meal.
Nyama Choma joints aren’t easy to find in Kampala but we have scouted out some of the finest so you don’t have any excuse not to try it!
Jeans Pub in Namuwongo is very popular among the nyama choma community – especially among Kenyans living in Uganda. “These guys prepare Nyama choma the proper way,” said Deejay Tumz a Kenyan national who has lived in Kampala for over five years. There, nyama choma is served with kachumbari, mukimu or ugali depending on your preference and a kilo is 20,000 UGX.
In Kansanga, right next to KIU Main Hostels, is Kungo Maito. This place is a favourite of Kenyan nationals living in Kampala as its nyama choma is relatively cheap. Served with sukuma wiki, a plate is as low as 2,500 UGX. A kilo goes for 20,000 UGX and half is 10,000 UGX.
Kruchy Bites is also another nyama choma place near Chicken tonight in Kansanga. Nyama choma here costs 16,000 UGX a kilo and half is 8,500 UGX without any accompaniments.
Nyama Point can be found in the Kamwokya Center on Old Kira Road. A kilo of choma here is 17,000 UGX. Half a kilo costs 9,000 UGX and side dishes such as sukuma wiki, spinach, ugali and roasted matooke are as low as 1,000 UGX per portion. They serve their nyama choma grilled, deep fried and pan fried. Nyama choma here is served on skewers or as whole meat which on their menu is referred to as tumbukiza.
In Bugolobi, opposite Nakumatt Supermarket, is Roosters. A kilo of Nyama Choma at this place costs 17,000 UGX and half a kilo is 8,500 UGX. A side dish of kachumbari, sukuma wiki, ugali or a combination of the three costs an extra 3,000 UGX.
Still in the Bugolobi area is Bamboo Nest. The only type of Nyama Choma served is goat’s meat on skewers. Each skewer costs 8,000 UGX and has 4 pieces of nyama. If you are interested in any side dishes, Kachumbari costs 3,000 UGX, cassava, Sukuma wiki, avocado portions start from as low as 1,000 UGX. They don’t serve ugali.
Rock Catalina is a bar in Ntinda town that has stood the test of time. A plate of nyama choma starts from as low as 6,000 with accompaniments of kachumbari and sukuma wiki. Half a kilo costs 12,000 UGX while a kilo is 24,000 UGX. As their banner indicated, they pride themselves in preparing nyama choma in the Kenyan style.
Triple R formerly known as R&R, located in Ntinda new market, is another place that serves nyama choma. A plate of Nyama Choma costs 7,500 UGX.
Want IN KAMPALA’s fresh content delivered to your in-box each Friday?