If you judge a restaurant by how big the screen on which the football, or any popular sporting event, is showing then you are in for a treat at Yellow River Chinese Restaurant in Muyenga. You will not find a bigger screen, better sound, colder beer, or a larger lawn for sport viewing on that side of town.
While there has been a restaurant on the location for some time, the family that currently owns it bought it about a year ago renaming it (from Beijing) to ‘Yellow River’ after the location in China they are originally from. They also brought with them a specific type of cuisine (there are eight varieties of Chinese cuisine based on regions in China) and theirs focuses on beef, mutton, vegetables, and the use of wheat flour. Food from the north also tends to focus on salty rather than sweet.
The restaurant itself sits directly off the odd corner of Muyenga and Tank Hill Roads – caddy-corner to the Italian Supermarket. Parking inside is a bit limited on nights with a big game but otherwise is enough to accommodate diners. A large lawn with scattered plastic chairs and tables all face the enormous screen and speakers that are loud enough that the action can be heard out on the street. For those not interested in sport, they have an upstairs dining area in the building behind the kitchen which is comfortable and pleasant. The tables normally seat four to five but can be arranged for more.
While the numbering on the menu extends into the thousands, there are actually only several hundred dishes to choose from – but that is more than enough. The Chinese food aficianado will find all the staples – and more – accounted for. Soups, spring rolls, fried noodles, and fried rice are all present as well as well as more exotic dishes (which might not be for the faint of stomach) – such as ‘boiled meat and blood curd in red chilli oil’ or ‘dongpo pork hock’, and ‘dry stir fried pork big intestine’. The menu does tend to be heavy on meat but there is a list of options for vegetarians.
Dishes are served ‘family style’ meaning that it’s better to come with a crowd and helpings are generous with each dish serves two or more. This also gives the illusion of having several courses and means that no one goes hungry while waiting. Prices for pork, beef, fish, and chicken dishes generally cost between 16,500 – 25,000 UGX making it good value for money.
All of the steamed buns are delicious and come in sets of eight for 18,500 UGX. The sweet and sour pork (17,000 UGX) – that Chinese food staple – is another winner with the pork being lightly fried before doused in sweet red sauce. The noodles are all homemade and mouth-watering served in heaping piles. The spicy and crispy beef filet (18,500 UGX) is perfectly fried with the beef being tender on the inside without being too greasy on the outside but was not at all spicy. The mixed seasonal vegetables (11,000 UGX) usually features carrots, beans, onions, mushrooms, and broccoli and should be an essential side to every meal.
Open every day from 10am to 11pm, Yellow River has a special Sunday Chinese Breakfast from 8-10am if you’re interested in delving into some more specialty dishes.
But back to the television. It’s truly enormous.