Select Restaurant, Kigali

I’d read a review of Select online that said something about being on your best behaviour, dressing up a bit and not wearing flip flops. Naturally, I was a bit scared. But Select turned out to be a beautiful restaurant with a great view and managed to do it without being pretentious or making me feel bad about sneaking in there with flip flops on, anyways.

They’re one of the more expensive restaurants in Kigali but they still manage to be affordable by USA or UK standards, so it doesn’t kill your wallet too much. There’s a choice of two, three course set menus, one for Rwf10,000 (fillet steak as the main) and the other for Rwf13,000 (a choice of a giant piece of pork or chicken stew). You can also order off the menu with meals starting at around Rwf8,000 each. The wine is wear your wallet will take a hit with the cheapest glass costing Rwf4,500 and bottles starting at over Rwf40,000. You can get a small beer for about Rwf1,500 and there are also cocktails.

Giant PorkSelect do the same annoying thing as Zen and give each diner a crazy amount of space. If you’re a group of six or more, you’ll probably find yourself too far away from the other end of the table to hold a conversation. Since I like my friends and we enjoy being able to hear each other speak, we asked them to remove a table and the six of us crowded around two tables with two of us at either end which was no problem. This made for a more intimate experience and, more importantly, kept us from having to shout across the table at each other. Given our often inappropriate topics of conversation, this was a good thing.

The service was really where you could see Select is a cut above the average restaurant in Kigali. The servers were attentive and friendly, spoke excellent English,  were able to deal with any slight variations we asked for in the menu without alarm and the food came out in a reasonable amount of time.

The food was also really good. The mashed potatoes were a little gummy, but they were served in the shape of boobs, complete with tomato nipples, which gave them extra bonus points for humour. If you choose the cheese fondue as your starter, know that it’s actually some sort of deep fried or maybe baked cheese and has nothing to do with dipping bread into melted cheese. The starters for the set menu were huge and the bread while we waited was tasty so be careful not to fill up too much before your main – which is also gigantic. The pork dish was huge and everyone who ordered it was raving about how tender the meat was. I was impressed with my fillet steak and happy that I splashed out on what turned out to be an excellent glass of red wine.

Given the prices, Select probably won’t make it onto our list of regular hangouts but it was really nice to dress up a bit and head out with friends for a fancy meal. With good food, wine and service, and huge portions you’ll come away feeling like you’ve gotten value for the extra money you’ve spent. It’s nice to splash out once in awhile and I’ll be back one of these days!

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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.