Tamarai: A Unique and Expensive Thai Venue in Kololo

Tamarai is a Thai restaurant and tea bar located in Kololo, Kampala. The interior décor is impressive, with carved wooden doors, statues of Buddhas, and plush couches. The tea bar is a unique feature that offers a range of hot and iced teas, such as Arabian mint and berry sensations. The food quality was variable, with some dishes being bland or too spicy and not tasting authentic.

Nov 3, 2023 - 15:14
Tamarai: A Unique and Expensive Thai Venue in Kololo
Chef at Tamarai Restaurant

Tamarai is a new Thai restaurant and tea bar in Kololo, which opened in August 2012. I have been curious about this place for a while, as it has a striking exterior with carved wooden doors and statues of Buddhas. Kampala does not have many Thai options, so I was keen to see how Tamarai compares to the Oriental Simply Thai at the Metropole Hotel.


Tea bar: A unique feature offering hot and iced teas

The interior of Tamarai is impressive, with a lavish décor featuring more Buddhas, wooden elephants, and plush couches. The tea bar is a unique feature, offering a range of hot and iced teas, such as Arabian mint and berry sensations. The lounge bar has two plasma screens for sports fans, which seems a bit incongruous with the rest of the ambience. The tea bar also has free wifi, which makes it a nice spot for a casual meeting or a relaxing afternoon.


Food menu: A pan-Asian selection of dishes, mostly Thai

The food menu is mostly Thai, with some Chinese dim sum and Singaporean dishes as well. You can find classics like pad thai, curries, salads, and soups, as well as stir-fried meat, fish, and vegetables. The prices are on the high end, with starters and mains averaging around 24,000 UGX each and rice dishes costing between 10,000 and 20,000 UGX. The drinks are also pricey, with beers at 5,000 UGX, sodas at 2,500 UGX, and house wine at 10,000 to 11,500 UGX per glass. You might be better off buying a bottle of wine, which starts at 35,000 UGX.


Table massage: a gimmick that may or may not appeal to diners

One of the gimmicks of Tamarai is that they offer a table massage service for 10,000 UGX. A lady will come and give you a shoulder or foot massage while you dine. I did not try this myself, but some of my companions did, and they had mixed reactions. Some enjoyed it, while others found it awkward or uncomfortable.


Food quality: variable and pricey, with some hits and misses

The food quality was also variable. I had a dim sum trio as a starter, which was very bland. The pad siew noodles I ordered as a main were too spicy and did not taste like the authentic dish. The beef mussaman curry was better, but still not very memorable. Some of my friends had different curries and said they were decent, but nothing to write home about.


A recommendation based on the ambience and occasion

Tamarai left me feeling dissatisfied. It has a lot of potential with its beautiful setting and its tea bar concept, but it fails to deliver on the food front. The prices are too high for the quality and quantity of the food, and the service is not very attentive. I would only recommend this place if you are looking for a special occasion venue or a fancy tea break. If you are looking for authentic Thai food in Kampala, you might be better off elsewhere.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday
Address: Plot #14, Lower Kololo Terrace
Phone: 0755794958
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tamarai/130194887124989

It's been a while; therefore, I'd like to hear your views in the comments.

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