La Sierra

La Sierra

La Sierra is one of my favourite places in Kigali and I eat here all the time but, remarkably, I’ve taken three freaking years to write anything about it!

I blame their buffet. I’ve seen the sign board advertising their Indian buffet and didn’t feel like I could write a proper review until I’d sampled it. But Indian food for lunch just doesn’t appeal to me so I never seemed to get around to it. Well, I eventually did and I’m glad because, though expensive at Rwf 6,000 (including tea or coffee), it’s something a bit different from the usual Rwandan buffet starch-fest. They’ve usually got three or four Indian-influenced dishes, salads, soup, fresh bread, and a nice dessert. It makes a nice change from my beloved Camellia Tea House buffet when I want to splash out a bit.

One of the main reasons I love this place so much is the ‘food to go’ they have on offer inside their grocery store. Their supermarket is relatively expensive so you’re not going to want to be doing your weekly shop here, but they have some homemade goodies you can’t get elsewhere that make it worth a stop once in awhile. Their potato and tortilla chips are especially salty and delicious plus they’ve got a decent selection of baked goods, pastries, and things like mini pizzas, meatballs, samosas and even lasagne. I usually pop in here to grab a tuna sandwich or beef and cheese burrito to go. True, the burritos aren’t as good as the ones at Meze Fresh, but they’re also about Rwf 2,500 cheaper so I’ll take it! Plus they’re pretty good… just make sure you heat them up first or the cheese is weird. If you’re looking for a quick hot lunch, grab something here, they’ll heat it up for you and you can eat it in the front part of the restaurant. Their pasta salads are a good deal, too, especially since you get to keep the container. Pasta salad and free Tupperware. Score!

Waffles - Rwf 1,500

Another reason I like La Sierra is their waffles. I’m not a waffles expert, by any means, and maybe there are better ones to be had out there in the world but, for me as a good Canadian, a waffle needs maple syrup and butter on it and La Sierra complies. No jam. Just buttery, mapley, goodness and I approve. Plus they come out nice and warm and they’ve got a great, cakey sort of texture that I like. At Rwf 1,500 I think they’re one of the best breakfast bargains out there. Their coffee is also a good deal at Rwf 1,000 for the works – hot milk, sugar, and a pot! None of that expensive coffee by the cup stuff (I’m looking at you, Brioche!) which is nice.

La Sierra has their little annoying things like charging for paper bags and denying my request for mayonnaise because ‘We don’t usually give out mayonnaise.’ I was also frustrated by their refusal to sell me one eclair because they put two in the box and they absolutely, positively must be sold together – even though I didn’t need the box. While the service is decent and fairly consistent, I always seem to find something that irks me. I really like the place and if they could kick the customer service up a notch I’d come here a lot more.

Coffee

And, while I’m on my complaining spree – they make these really yummy brownies but 90% of the time I try to buy one, they’re hard as a rock. I want to eat the brownie but I also want to make sure my teeth stay intact… what’s a girl to do? But that one time I found a soft brownie it was pretty great so I’ll live in hope and continue giving the brownies a little squeeze each time I stop in.

I really like the street-level eating area they have and it’s nice to be able to watch the people roll by. It’s a popular spot that’s been in operation for years and the owner is a nice guy who took the time to have a little chat and give me a bit of the place’s history when I asked him for a business card. La Sierra has been around for decades and, for the moment at least, the owner tells me that it’s safe from the frenzy of development that’s been happening in town.

Overall I’m a big fan of La Sierra! Sure, there are small things that bug me about the place but that’s just because I like it so much and go there so often. Give it a try next time you’re in town!

Hours: Monday to Friday, 7am – 8pm (Buffet from noon – 4pm), Saturday, 7am – 4pm, Closed Sunday
Phone: 0788 629 331
More Info: La Sierra on Eating in Kigali

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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.