Lately the food scenery in Kigali has grown to an extent that one can eat a different cuisine each single day of the week. To give you an overview, we decided to try out some different eating hangouts and this is what we observed:
Day 1: L’Epicurien, Kigali
This is a French restaurant located in the busy streets of restaurants in Kimihurura. They have a weekly menu at decent prices of 5,800 FRW or 6,200. It is located in an old house with a beautiful garden and offers a quick business lunch. The food is good, the service good and the ambiance excellent especially when you get seated in the garden area. I liked the fact that they change their menu every week because it shows impressive creativity.
Day 2: Mille Collines Hotel
This hotel is now managed by the Kempinski Group which is renowned for its five star hotels. One will expect to experience a 5 star service even in the poolside restaurant but I guess it is too early as the hotel is still in the phase of putting things right.
They now serve a business lunch buffet at a very reasonable price of 7,000 FRW. The food is basic but very tasteful. The hygienic standards still need to improve for salads and desserts displayed in the open air.
Day 3: Laico Hotel
The Umubano Hotel is one of the old hotels that have gone through many changes of management from Meridien to Novotel, Laico etc. Now, it is managed by an administrator from the Ministry of Trade and Industry but the staff try to maintain some minimum standards.
For 12.000 FRW, they still serve a very good buffet lunch. Their salads buffet is probably still one of the best in town.
Day 4: Via Veneto
This is an Italian restaurant that was in the past located somewhere in Nyarutarama around the golf course. It has now moved close to the Zen restaurant. We ordered some Mushrooms and cheese Risotto and Shrimps Taggliattelle and these two turned out to be very delicious choices. Service can improve as the only staff we saw seemed to be running around a lot.
Day 5: Le Poivre Noir
This is one of the newest offers in Kigali. Nathalie and her husband offer very simple bistronomique cuisine. The fact that the owner serves herself while the husband cooks makes the experience very homely. The restaurant seats 24 people and it is better to book in advance. Great, simple food in a very good ambiance
Day 6: Serena Hotels - Breakfast
Serena Hotel in Kigali has the best breakfast in town. It is best enjoyed over the week- end when one does not need to rush. They offer a variety of fruits, cheese and pastries
Brachetto – Dinner
I discovered this restaurant some months ago and the ambiance in an evening set up offers a great experience. The Italian Chef takes pride in creative dishes and though the prices are on a higher side, you will see the value in the dishes and services. The chef is friendly and comes out to seek feedback from customers.
The restaurant offers fantastic gourmet food in a cosy atmosphere. The staff are probably the best in town and are dressed in very beautiful uniforms.
Also as a wine bar, you have an extensive list of French and Italian wines.
Day 7: Shokola
Shokola in Kimihurura is beautifully decorated and offers a cosy environment surrounded by nature. For those of us nostalgic of the first Shokola that was located in Kiyovu some years ago, this place is a hidden gem in the hills of Kigali.
The staff is very knowledgeable about the products and offer very good service. You could sit comfortably in the couches and read any of the numerous books available there.