O Tamarillo

It’s a house! It’s a restaurant! It’s O’Tamarillo! I love the idea of kicking things up a notch from the usual flavours of Kigali with chef-owner restaurants located in their homes. Chef Carlos did it wonderfully at Paladar Venceremos (which has since closed and reopened in a new concept as Inema Cafe), and Chef France has a great place with her new restaurant, O’Tamarillo.

I only just learned that this concept is very popular in France and is referred to as a ‘table d’hôtes’ where guests are invited into the host’s home for an intimate dining experience with a set menu. In O’Tamarillo’s case you’re invited to enjoy a three course ‘French Fusion’ menu with a focus on highlighting fresh Rwandan produce. Their menu changes every two weeks to keep things interesting and you can keep up with the updates either by following them on Facebook or joining their email list by sending an email to otamarillo@gmail.com. O’Tamarillo is by reservation only. They have to plan their meals carefully in advance so that means that can’t accept walk-in guests.

O'Tamarillo Table d'Hôtes

This week’s menu includes things like a starter of avocado mousse with flaked salmon, a main of pork filet stuffed with prunes and wrapped in prosciutto, and a strawberry tartlet for dessert. The week I went, it was ricotta gnocchi with parsley butter to start, beef with Sichuan pepper and creamy cauliflower as the main, and a lemon meringue tart to finish it all off. Plus they had a really delicious ginger cider and a good selection of wine to drink. Both menus offer

And so how was the food? Pretty amazing, thanks for asking. They started off the meal with a surprise gazpacho that was light and refreshing before we moved onto the first course. The gnocchi was super cheesy and I could have eaten a whole plate full of them. But, considering the food that was yet to come, the size of the dish was perfect. The steak was cooked perfectly and the creamy cauliflower, vegetables, and potatoes were all amazing as sides. Finishing us off with dessert was the lemon tart which was super tangy and surrounded with a deliciously flaky mini pie crust. So ya… the food is very good.

O'Tamarillo Table d'Hôtes

At Rwf 19,000 for three courses it’s seems like of the more expensive places in the city. But when you really break it down, ordering a starter, main, and dessert at many of Kigali’s best restaurants would probably come in somewhere near the same price. So if you’re hungry and looking for some exciting new Kigali food options, it’s totally worth the price. You can also opt for a two course meal for Rwf 14,500 if you’re not feeling quite so hungry or don’t want to splash out quite as much.

O'Tamarillo Table d'Hôtes

The atmosphere they’ve managed to create is welcoming and casual but in an intimate space. You can tell they’ve spent a lot of time getting every detail ‘just right’, from the place settings to the decor to the lighting to the innovative menu. It all works and makes for a cozy dining experience that goes beyond just eating a plate of food. It’s the ultimate date place but also manages to work as a nice spot for a catch up with a group of friends.

O Tamarillo

The location really couldn’t be more beautiful. I thought I had an amazing view of Kigali from my back yard and then I saw this place! It’s ridiculous. The house is located down the road of the old Republika and is set up high, down a long and winding driveway. This means you have a pretty amazing, elevated view over to the Gisozi hill and it makes for a beautiful setting for a nice meal as the stars blend in with the lights on the hill.

O'Tamarillo Table d'Hôtes

France, the chef/owner, is trained as a graphic designer and worked in that field for 15 years before coming to Kigali in 2008. She’s had a lifelong passion for cooking and decided that she wanted to pursue this dream so she took a professional training at L’Epicurien in Kigali before heading back to France for a six-week workshop. O’Tamarillo, opened in February 2016, is the result of her hard work and I, for one, and very happy she made this career change! I love stories of people breaking out of the routine and following their ambitions and I also love seeing new and exciting restaurants opening up in Kigali. So, yay for us!

O’Tamarillo are open Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and you should make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance as it has become very popular and fills up quickly. And remember… it’s reservation only!

Hours: Wednesday to Friday, 7pm – Midnight
Phone: 0783 642 337 (French) / 0783 370 892 (English)
Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/OTamarillo

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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.