Being the land of a thousand hills, it’s not the most difficult thing in the world to find a restaurant with a view, at least over a couple of hills. For the ultimate Kigali view, however, there are a few places that will satisfy even the pickiest customer and New Cactus is definitely one of them. One of the oldest restaurants in Kigali, this charming place also offers a relaxed atmosphere, and a sensibly priced and tasteful menu.
Yes, I was confused as well, the first time I set foot in this restaurant (both named after and decorated with cactus) I expected to find nachos and burritos on the menu, but instead found Italian dishes. Despite the initial confusion, however, the menu turned out to be both original and tasty, so I soon forgave the misleading name. In addition to pizza and pasta (of which the lasagna is a must-try!), they also have several fish and meat dishes, as well as really awesome desserts. Yummy!
Another strong point on the menu is the choice of salads – albeit completely misleading as well! The Cæsar salad, for instance, has neither parmesan nor the authentic dressing, but instead a bunch of blue cheese, boiled egg and bacon bits.
Though at times slow, the service is generally good, with an attentive and smiling staff (especially one waitress who I always am lucky enough to get assigned to my table.) It also seems they have learned the menu, and can in most cases answer your questions about the dishes.
As mentioned above, the view alone is reason enough visit New Cactus. I highly recommend coming here for brunch/lunch, find a spot in one of the cushioned chairs in the garden, and enjoy a glass of rosé wine. The half carafes here are only Rwf 5,800 (disputably the cheapest in Kigali) so it wont cost you too much either. Not that price should be an issue when tending to your soul’s needs…
All in all New Cactus is a tranquil place with cute surroundings and magnificent views. While some of the food dishes still have room for improvement, I’m totally in love with this place and hope ‘rosé brunch’ becomes a point on everyone’s schedule before too long.