There are mom and pop restaurants throughout the city. But mom and sons? No so many. Recently I met a remarkable Ugandan family at their restaurant, Simba Uganda, on Olive.
Cyndy and I stopped by for lunch after reading a recent article in Sauce magazine. The family was all on hand. Chef Christine Mukulu Sscremba and her sons, George and Majesty run the place, though Majesty is also a computer science student at Webster.
America: The Land of Beginning Again
Like the owners of many ethnic restaurant in town, they have a compelling story. The country known for its many beautiful lakes—especially Lake Victoria—has been rocked by torture, scandal, corruption and extreme poverty. The family fled to America in 2011, seeking political asylum after her land was seized and property destroyed by the brother of the Ugandan president. Before losing everything, Christine had been an actress and business owner in her country. She holds an MBA degree and speaks several languages.
Once in America, Christine started cooking for church, community gatherings, and festivals. Several years ago, after friends encouraged her to go into the restaurant business, she opened Olive Green International. Earlier this year, the family moved the restaurant across Olive street and rebranded it Simba Uganda to better reflect the cuinse of their home country.
A Lively Cuisine
I found the chapati, a flat bread, especially tasty as were the lunch buffet dishes and the refreshing ginger hibiscus iced tea. Christine said I should come back in the evening, when she makes her signature dish, a groundnut sauce with bananas.
Simba Uganda. 8531 Olive Blvd., University City. Open: Tue-Sun 11a-9p. Closed Mondays.