Asian Kitchen

Asian Kitchen, Kigali

Hello Food Kigali

Asian Kitchen, where have you been all of my Kigali-life? This adorable new Thai place has wowed me with their food so far and I’m excited to head back to try even more things! It’s a small place with a small menu but, so far, they’re doing everything right and I’m extremely impressed!

Asian Kitchen isn’t trying to be all things to all people. They’ve got a good selection of Thai food and they seem to be happy with that. You won’t find the usual Chinese favourites tucked into the back of the menu or brochettes and chips to please the crowd. This place is unapologetically Thai and all I can say is… finally! The Thai food at Zen can be tasty but it’s certainly not what I’d call authentic. Asian Kitchen offers up simple dishes done very well and I’m a huge fan.

Asian Kitchen, Kigali

Asian Kitchen has managed to create a very nicely designed space with a relaxed atmosphere and a really nice vibe. The Thai patterns on the walls, wooden tables, plants, and sunflowers (oh, the sunflowers!) combine to make the place feel serene, despite being very close to one of Kigali’s busiest roads. While it is a bit noisy at times, I didn’t notice myself really caring all that much and the noise sort of fades away the longer you sit there and all but disappears as you feed your face with delicious food.

For me, it’s the little things that are impressive. A creative menu with a few dishes done really well, professionally printed menus, nice table settings with cute Thai place mats and a vase with flowers on each table, the option of using chop sticks, and a few opening specials where they offer free mini desserts at lunch or edamame bowls at dinner. Everything seems to have a purpose and the business has been created by someone who you can tell has been thoughtful about everything from design to marketing to the food.

Asian Kitchen, Kigali

Now I’m not going to claim to be an expert in Thai food, but I would say I know a good Thai green curry when I taste one. It’s pretty much the only Thai dish that I ever order due to my borderline unhealthy obsession for it. So I’d like to think that I’m able to discern the real deal from the pretenders. Well I’m happy to report that Asian Kitchen serves up a very nice green curry with a layered mix of flavours and a choice between tofu (Rwf 5,000), chicken (Rwf 5,500), and veggie (Rwf 4,500). They come with rice and they were very generous with the chicken. I think it’s a bit weird to have potato in a green curry but it works and makes the meal feel nice and hearty.

Asian Kitchen, Kigali

The helpings are generous and they even add a little fried tofu nugget thing to each meal that comes with a delicious sauce. Another small but impressive thing… a friend and I ordered a plate of the tofu things (Rwf 1,800) to share and they’re listed as coming with five on the menu but they brought out six with two sauce bowls to allow for shame-free double-dipping. They’re crispy and delicious and seriously… that sauce is wonderful.

Asian Kitchen, Kigali

On my second lunch outing I tried the Tom Kha soup (Rwf 5,000)  and I was impressed, once again. I didn’t really like all of the onions in it so if I ordered it again I might ask for no onions… but it was very tasty and filling and came with a side of rice (noodles are also an option). There was a nice mix of chicken and tofu and I was happily full after the meal.

Service the second time around wasn’t quite as flawless as on my first trip. Our waitress accidentally delivered our order to the table next to us. It was confusing since that table had arrived quite a bit later than us but, since the waitress actually rested the food on our table while delivering it to the table beside us, and since the other table didn’t complain about an incorrect order, we didn’t think a mistake was made and sat patiently. It wasn’t until we were delivered the other table’s order that we realised what happened. A bit annoying but the correct order came out under ten minutes later that so it wasn’t a huge deal. I guess it was more of a big deal for the table eating the wrong food… but they didn’t seem to notice. Which is weird.

Asian Kitchen, Kigali

Asian Kitchen has slightly different menus for lunch and dinner but the usual favourites like the curries, sweet chili chicken, and spicy beef filet stick around for both. Lunch seems to have more choice of main dishes and dinner offers up a couple of starts in addition to the mains like tufu salad with peanut sauce (Rwf 2,000) and Asian Kitchen toast (Rwf 3,000). So far I’ve only been twice for lunch so I have yet to venture into the realm of the starter.

Asian Kitchen, Kigali

But I have managed to try a good sampling of the desserts which are all quite yummy… even though they’re not chocolate-y (yes, I suppose it’s possible to have a dessert without chocolate…). As part of their opening special, they’re giving away a mango milk pudding mini-dessert for free, though I’m not sure how long this will last. I also tried the coconut ice cream (Rwf 2,200) which, while not as creamy and flavourful as the masterpiece found at Kimi Gourmand, is still a fine bowl of refreshing ice cream. The banana smoothie (Rwf 2,000) is also a winner.

Asian Kitchen, Kigali

Asian Kitchen has only been open for two months but they seem to have their operation running pretty smoothly with food coming out very quickly, friendly service, fair prices, and excellent Thai food. I’m a huge fan and will probably find myself making the trek to Remera more often than usual, just to stop in for a yummy Thai meal. I love it when quality new places open in Kigali! It kicks the standard of the whole restaurant industry up a notch and finally having access to quality Thai in Kigali is the best thing that’s happened to me all week!

Have you been yet? Let everyone know what you think of this place by leaving a comment and ratings stars below!

Hours: Daily, 11am – 10pm
Phone: 0784 337 288

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About Kirsty

A Canadian who left in 2001 to wander around the world in search of sun, beautiful views and goat brochettes. Found Kigali in July 2010 and it seems like the perfect fit. I expect to be here until I get kicked out for defiantly walking on the grass while wearing flip flops.