Welcome to Jinja an historical city of Uganda, my husband and I visited Uganda and loved so much to relax in this city before we leave the country and at first, we took an escorted tour in Uganda with 4×4 Car Hire Uganda and later we wanted free trip to Jinja and we rented a car from this company and on way we visited the Mabira forest and after continued to Jinja.
Jinja has much more to offer that one would not miss, for our case we wanted to see source of the Nile and outing places that one would go with his family and by the time we visited an agricultural show was on and we visited and Uganda has much more agricultural products that one can enjoy still fresh. This town too offers adventure activities from boat cruise along the River Nile, White water rafting, bungee jumping among others that I will advise my sons to come and experience in Africa.
Mezzanine Restaurant and Bar, Jinja
Jinja is a small town compared to Kampala so when someone opens a new restaurant that is of any reasonable quality it quickly becomes the ‘’talk of the town’’. Mezzanine is the newest and trendiest place in Jinja to dine and to be seen. formally ginger Jinja, the new restaurant occupies the lowest building on the plot right on the river’s edge (actually still Lake Victoria but just above the dam so you feel like you are sitting on the river) with a bar and a couple tables in the main building and a few more tables and another bar on the lawn below on the water’s edge.
Due to a power cut in Jinja and some problems with the generator we found it quite a trek down the path to get the restaurant for dinner, but once seated with candlelight we were fine. As you enter the bar is straight in front of you with some low cushioned chairs and tables on the left and the main seating terrace area on the right which looks over the River. There are only four tables inside the upstairs terrace section but being early we had no problem getting a table.
There is a nice attention to detail with local Kikoyi table cloths with matching cloth napkins and pepper cruets made from cow horn. The chairs are a bit hard but we borrowed cushions off the low chairs. The room is decorated with local papyrus matting, local woven lampshades and artefacts on shelves. Mezzanine menu mainly consists of tapas. Tapas are a wide variety of appetizers, or snacks in Spanish cuisine. They may be cold or warm.
In Spain, patrons of tapas can order many different tapas and combine them to form a full meal. The serving tapas is designed to encourage conservation because people are not so focused upon eating an entire meal that is prepared for them. Tapas have evolved into an entire, and sometimes sophisticated, cuisine and the tapas at mezzanine is just that. The dishes are relatively small, the idea being that you order lots of them.
Mario the chef is of Italian/Australian origins and is also a keen fisherman so whenever he has been successful there is fresh fish on the special board which is highly recommended. I tried some of the tilapia/Nile parch with basil sauce (drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar)which was cooked to perfection. We also had some beef in rice paper rolls (like Vietnamese rolls) which were tasty, some scrumptious chicken satay and the fish cakes. for the vegetable dishes I tried some pumpkin pesto, chargrilled vegetables and carrots with ginger and carrots sliced into very thin slices and sautéed with ginger seasoning which were all very flavorsome. There is also pizza on the menu so we tried a margarita which was thin pan with a good topping but again on the small side which the price reflected. All the food is well presented in bowls or modern square plates.
The theme of using local ethnic materials continues with the waiters dressed in kikoy material uniforms that blend in with the feel of the place.one of the big downfalls of most Ugandan establishments is the poor quality of service and mezzanine is no exception. They have a novel way that you are given a sheet of paper and order your own meal. You would think this is a great innovation where you struggle to find attentive and customer service-oriented staff but we still managed to be offered a dish we did not order and once you have ordered it seems to be a given that you are not going to order more!
The waitress could also not tell us if the pan-fried fish was tilapia or Nile perch! The same goes for the kitchen where the service is slow and this really needs to improve if tapas are their main menu items. The pizza came relatively quickly but the tapas I ordered came twenty minutes after everything else. I did want to mention this to the chef when I went back to take photos the following day but he was out fishing for that evening’s catch of the day!
Overall on the plus side the food was great and full of flavor. On the downside if you order a lot of dishes which on average are 9,000/= your bill soon starts to add up although beers at 2,500/= are very reasonable. If there is a crowd of you are not starving but want to go somewhere to chat, drink and snack then you have to check out mezzanine. Mezzanine is located at:8 bridge close (next to Jinja showground)