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Created on 17 July 2015 Written by Sandra Idossou
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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.

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Created on 17 July 2015 Written by Gatete Thierry Kevin
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I came in on an evening of hyena’s wedding; the sun was setting on a drizzle. As I took a walk along the Kacyiru pavement, I promised myself to write a little story at the storyteller’s café. It all made sense I thought to myself: ‘I am a story teller and I am going to the storytellers’ café to tell a story’.

The sun, set and the rain briefly intensified, right in time to give me a quick faceshower as I walked, slowly in the garden from the library towards the stairs; I felt good!

As I climbed, I surprised my- self with a shy smile at the thought of seeing Orianne there. Ah Orianne, with her beautiful big eyes, her warm voice and contagious smile. Sure enough she was there. She noticed me first, called me out, I turned, I blushed. She looked exactly like in my five minute fantasy, five seconds earlier; Luckily she couldn’t see it, no one could, it was too dark...

It was love at first sight with Orianne, but also with the café. When I did a tour, I did not stay long in one place. I felt privileged that it was my first time. Every corner I visited, I wanted to unsee it and start over again, it was gorgeous.

I felt a sense of delicacy in this place. When the smiling waiter came, I didn’t dare order a coffee, I thought that was too toxic for today. I feared the sin, so I ordered a fresh juice; just like I refrained from asking Orianne for a dance, that’s for another inspired afternoon...

When I saw the mini-theater place, and the futuristic office space I closed my eyes; like someone who’d seen a shooting star, I made a wish... I wished for young talents to be inspired here as I was, I wished for the same artist to design my house someday, maybe...
I thought frightened to write this story for I felt a better writer should tell it. I was intimidated in the face of beauty. I felt I would not know how hard to press. By telling the story I held something delicate in my hands, but I was worried I would break it, for only the hands of an artist could handle it; an artist, as talented as the one who designed it...

Forgive me if I didn’t do it justice; I was trembling as I wrote it; it was as if I was telling a story for the very first time. Thankfully I typed at the rhythm of the BVSC meringue, that played in the background and kept the place warm and exotic...

 

I have to go, I can see my best friend and his voluptuous wife in the corner there, in a dating mood, giggling like kids. All my friends are here, but I haven’t spoken a word to them. I couldn’t hold in one place, before I told this little story, at the storyteller’s café.

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Created on 18 December 2014 Written by Fahima Milenge
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One of the things I miss most about Kigali - while away on missions - is high quality haircare. This, in my view, is epitomised by the little hair salon-cum-beauty parlour tucked away behind the adults' swimming pool of Serena Hotel. The manager's active involvement in almost every aspect of the hair & beauty treatment provided to clients; as well as her obvious concern for clients' hair - puts clients completely at ease. Such empathy and involvement provides clients with the assurance that they're in the hands of a master of the trade.

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