Pan China

Pan China, Kigali

Hello Food KigaliPan China has moved! These photos are of the old place. It’s now located in the same complex as Sakae. The map at the bottom of the post is accurate.

I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of Chinese food. I like to go to Great Wall from time to time because it’s the weirdest place ever and I love that, but if I’m going to go out to lunch or dinner my first choice will never be Chinese. However, while I’m not crazy about most Chinese dishes, I am a sucker for a good sweet and sour and that’s what usually lures me out to Chinese restaurants without too much of a complaint. Give me a good sweet and sour dish and I’m a happy diner.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that Chinese food isn’t really my thing and, as a result, you probably wouldn’t be expecting me to rave too highly about a Chinese restaurant. Well! You’re wrong! Because I’m a fan of Pan China and, while I’m still not a lover of Chinese food in general, I really like this place. The food is good but what really sets it aside for me is the atmosphere, service, and their creativity with the menu.

Beef Soup - Pan China, Kigali

Yes! Creativity! At a restaurant in Kigali! It’s nice to see and I think it’s a reflection of Pan China’s professionalism and experience in this industry. I don’t think this is their first rodeo, folks, and it means that us lucky Kigalians have a new and worthy addition to the ever-growing food scene.

Pan China is one of the few restaurants I’ve seen in town who offer a lunch special that dares to go beyond offering a buffet. They have what amounts to a pretty great deal in the Rwf 4,900 lunch special which comes with the soup of the day, two (huge) spring rolls, fried or steamed rice, and your choice between a beef, chicken, pork, or vegetable dish. Unfortunately the amazingness of the lunch deal kind of makes the rest of the menu look super expensive if you’re just going in for lunch.

Lunch Special - Pan China, Kigali

Being a lover of the ol’ sweet and sour, I asked if I could swap it into the lunch special somehow but was rebuked (in a nice way). When I looked at the rest of the menu, ordering the sweet and sour chicken (Rwf 5,500) and steamed rice (Rwf 2,500) would have cost me a lot more and would likely have been way too much to each. My lunch buddy was ordering the special though and after a lot of indecision by me, they offered to whip up a slightly larger batch of rice for her meal so I didn’t have to place an order of my own. Win!

Spring Roll - Pan China, Kigali

That’s a good example of the service here. They’re quick to offer suggestions and solutions and the manager was close at hand as well. I was being indecisive due to my undying love for sweet and sour chicken, but I was left very impressed and happy when they went out of their way to accommodate my annoying ways.

Pan China’s lunch special is a bargain especially considering how much food you get. The spring rolls are monstrous, the soups was very yummy and a good size, and the rice and main dish were both enough to make sure you left the pace nicely stuffed. All of that food bought separately would have come out to around Rwf 10,000 so if you’re after a good Kigali lunch deal, this is your place.

Sweet and Sour Chicken - Pan China, Kigali

And how about that sweet and sour? Well, I was impressed and I like to consider myself quite the aficionado, you see. I could have done without the carrots (ew, carrots) but they’re one of the few places in town that makes sure to put both pineapple and green peppers in the dish and I was impressed. The dish had yummy, zingy sauce, and tender chicken, and it was a pretty decent serving for the Rwf 5,500 they charge. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this is the best sweet and sour in Kigali. Yes. There you have it.

Pan China, Kigali

One thing Pan China has become pretty well known for is their fried chicken. I don’t think that photo just above does it justice because that photo is crappy and their chicken is most definitely not crappy. It’s very tasty, in fact. You can get the regular crispy fried chicken (Rwf 9,500 for a bucket or Rwf 5,000 for a half bucket) or their special ‘PFC’ version that comes coated in a pretty nice sauce for a bit extra. ‘Bucket’ as a unit of measure isn’t something I’m used to so let me just say that it’s a lot. You get plenty of chicken to feed four or five people.

Pan China have a small menu with a selection of all of the dishes you could hope for plus they have tofu and some seafood on offer in addition to the usual chicken, beef, and pork. They also have a menu of very interesting looking milkshakes, smoothies, and slushies with such glorious names as ‘Monkeymelon’, ‘Death by Chocolate’, and ‘Strawberry Wild’. I was stuffed after my lunch but I’ll return soon to give one of these wondrous creations a try. They’ve got a good selection of wine my the bottle and a glass costs Rwf 3,000 which is pretty good for a Kigali restaurant. Beers and spirits are also affordable making this a nice place to come also for a drink.

Pan China, Kigali

I’ve been to Pan China twice so far and have been impressed both times. At dinner I’d recommend trying their garden seating area inside their annex type building. It’s cozy in there and when it’s filled with people it has a nice atmosphere. During lunch, though, that box is like a sauna. Probably because, for reasons that escape me, they keep the windows closed. Sure, they can offer to open them up when you arrive but by that point, the damage may have been done and it’s a hot sweaty mess in there. But, fear not, for you can grab a table up on their balcony to be treated to a great view without sweating to death.

Pan China impressed me on both of my trips for their good food, nice atmosphere, fair prices, and friendly service. Getting everything right is something that doesn’t seem to happen all that often so when it does, I’m impressed! Even if I’m not that crazy about Chinese food, I’d recommend this place and I’m sure I’ll be back again plenty of times.

Hours: Monday to Saturday, Noon – 3pm, Closed Sunday
Phone: 0786 597 824
Email: panchina.rw@gmail.com
Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/panchinarw

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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.