This restaurant is located inside the Gorillas Hotel in Kiyovu so it’s not an obvious choice for a place to eat unless you’re staying there. After first wandering aimlessly into the conference centre next door and being disappointed to find nothing resembling a restaurant, I eventually found the right building (yes, right next door and, yes, clearly labeled) and was immediately impressed.
Just upstairs from the lobby, the restaurant has a small outdoor area which I avoided due to the torrential downpour, and an inside bit with about 15 tables or so. It’s one of those places with white table clothes and plates, wine glasses and napkins all laid out. I snuck off to a table in the corner and immediately ruined the display as I pushed everything to one side to make room for my computer. It’s a nice place, but not so nice that I felt intimidated by the fanciness… so no big deal.
Based on the relative fanciness and the fact that the hotel charges $80 a night, I was expecting the menu to be a bit more expensive than it is. The lamb cutlett and steaks are the most expensive items on the menu at Rwf 7,500-ish but there are cheaper options available (plus it’s not like lamb is easy to find around here so the price isn’t too bad, I don’t think). Tomato soup as a starter is only Rwf 1,500 and spaghetti bolognaise is the same price as most cafes in town at Rwf 3,900.
I was excited to find pork brochettes on the menu (Rwf 4,500). I’ve always wondered why I can find pork plates at local bars and goat brochettes… but never pork brochettes. Madness, I tell you! The food was really good and big. I couldn’t finish everything. I had to abandon a potato croquette, some green stuff and zucchini. The pork brochettes, however, were devoured hastily.
Beer is expensive at Rwf 2,000 for a large Primus and Rwf 2,500 for a large Mutzig. To compare, at a local bar these would cost Rwf 800 to 1,000-ish each. Wine was reasonable at Rwf 2,500 but I guess it depends on the size of the glass. It’s probably not the sort of place I’d come for a big night out, though, although the bar area is nice. A really tasty African tea cost Rwf 1,500 for a decent sized pot and coffee cost Rwf 1,000.
The desserts offered some good options including banana splits and chocolate mousse however they broke my heart by only having vanilla ice cream and fruit salad available while I was there, trapped by the rain and in need of a dessert. Fruit salad and vanilla ice cream are insults to desserts everywhere.
Food took about 45 minutes and I had the waiter apologising that it was taking so long. Sort of strange given the amount of time food takes in this city. I wasn’t in a rush but appreciated being paid attention to. The service is really good. They bring out a warm bread roll and butter after they take your order and check up regularly without being annoying.
I like this place. It’d be even nicer on a warm, sunny day eating outside in the patio area. Good service, good food, reasonable prices and a cozy atmosphere. I’ll be back. Indeed.
Hours: Daily, 6am – 11pm
Phone: 0788 200 511 / 0788 487 777
More Info: The Silverback on Eating in Kigali