Chap Chap

Chap Chap, Kigali

Hello Food KigaliWhen I think of eating in Nyamirambo, my mind takes me to thoughts of waiting two hours for a giant fish or a plate of brochettes washed down with warm beer in a setting that makes me fearful of venturing into the toilets. The fish and brochettes are delicious, of course, but the wait and the questionable facilities are something that leave a little less to be desired about the restaurants in my favourite part of town.

So imagine my surprise when I stumbled into an adorable little spot with neither plastic chairs or ‘Primus’ painted all over the outside of the walls. Where the food is quick and the open kitchen seems up to standard. Where the toilets may be ok… I don’t know for sure yet but I do know that I’m not terrified of finding out. This magical little place is called Chap Chap (not to be confused with Chapati, which I totally did when I first came to this place) and it’s a Nyamirambo restaurant that stands apart from the masses – in a good way.

Chap Chap, Kigali

You’re not going to get a warm beer here (or any beer at all as they don’t serve alcohol) but you’ll get a damned fine lemon mint juice. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen lemon mint juice anywhere else in Kigali. Shawarma House promises it on their menu but they were just toying with me and didn’t have it. But Chap Chap has this favourite of mine and they do it really well. I live nearby and I’ve been known to make trips here specifically for this juice. Or if you’re more of a ginger pineapple juice type, I hear it’s another one of the best things on the menu. They also do a damned fine virgin mojito. Juice man… they’ve got it down.

Chap Chap, Kigali

Lets move away from the juice for a moment to the food, shall we? Chap Chap has a small, simple menu of Rwandan favourites like brochettes and fries but it’s their chapati wraps that are the reason to come here. I never would have thought that a chapati would make a good sandwich wrap but, at least at this place, it totally does. I don’t know if Chap Chap’s chapati are less greasy or more bendy than at other places (I have to admit to not really being a chapati connoisseur), but it totally works. They’ve got a selection of hot and cold wraps on offer and the ones I’ve tried (hot chicken and cold veggie) have hit the spot.

Chap Chap, Kigali

The best thing about Chap Chap is the prices. This place is probably the most affordable place I’ve found anywhere in Kigali for a quick and tasty lunch that’s not a buffet. A friend and I ordered two ‘Africoffees’ (which turned out to be mostly milk with sugar), a lemon mint juice, and two chapati wraps (one cold veggie and one beef) for a grand total of Rwf 5,000. That’s just a little more than the cost of a smoothie at Bourbon or a burrito at Meze Fresh. True, the chapati wraps aren’t exactly huge… but they’re a perfect size for a light lunch for someone who doesn’t want to leave feeling stuffed and gross. Or for just a bit more, you can add fries to that. Be aware that the ‘half’ order means wrap only and the ‘full’ means wrap with fries.

Chap Chap, Kigali

I’ve been to Chap Chap once also for dinner and it’s a different and sort of fun vibe. There’s no beer but there’s shisha and it would be a great place to come and hang out to drink some tasty juice and smoke in a relaxed atmosphere. I tried their biryani and a goat brochette for dinner and, while the brochette was super small and charred into oblivion (but still strangely tasty), the biryani was very good. I don’t know what a biryani is supposed to taste like but the rice dish I was served had a great mix of beef, potato chunks, chopped veggies, and egg pieces with a nice spice mixed it. It was a huge helping that could have easily filled two people.

The staff are friendly, the food is quick and cheap, the atmosphere is super cute, and everything I’ve had here so far has been impressively tasty. Next time you find yourself wandering through Nyamirambo, be sure to stop into Chap Chap and give them a try!

Hours: Daily, 7am – 11pm
Phone: 0788 305 829

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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.