Afia Organics opened fairly recently in Kimihurura where the cocktail bar Jet Lag used to be. This building has had a lot of things come and go so lets hope Afia Organics is the concept that gets people interested in venturing to this little corner of Kimi. They’ve got a great concept of offering organic, mostly vegetarian and vegan dishes along with fresh juice and smoothies and I feel like they could find their niche and make it work. I’ve been here a couple of times so far and I’m impressed.
They recently added a printed menu where, before, they only had a chalk board. The menu is mostly the same as when they first opened but the pizza bagel seems to have been a casualty and a couple of new items have been added like the ‘Ethiopian Breakfast Combo’ and the ‘Vegan Bolognaise’ which I’m told has nothing to do with pasta. It’s a nice selection of wraps, salads, pasta, and sandwiches.
The menu only has 13 items on it but I actually prefer this at small restaurants. I’m always dubious of a place with a zillion menu items and there’s nothing more frustrating than attempting to order multiple times only to be told they don’t have it. I’d much rather see a place narrow down their offerings and focus on making sure they’re as good as can be along with making sure everything is always in stock. I’ve been twice and during that time my friends and I have worked our way through over half of the menu and everything has always been available.
Having tried quite a lot of their menu, the stand outs for me were the chick pea salad (Rwf 3,500) which could use some more chick peas but has a delicious dressing, and the plantain chips (Rwf 2,500) which promises ‘minty pea guacamole’ and serves up what seems like regular avocado guacamole. But the guacamole is quite tasty and the contrast between the sweet fried plantain and the salty dip is nice. I’m also a bit fan of their strawberry and banana smoothie.
The tofu sandwich (Rwf 3,000) is another standout dish. We don’t really see tofu too often around Kigali outside of some of the Asian restaurants, and it’s nice to see it used in a slightly different way. The sandwich is huge, the side salad also has the yummy dressing on it, and the tofu is really nicely flavoured. Baby not included.
Afia Organics will whip up pretty much any combination of juice or smoothie you want, depending what fruit they have in stock. They go above and beyond by offering strawberries as an option. This fruit can be pretty elusive around Kigali and often requires tracking down the strawberry man who roams the streets of Kigali (often by Ecole Belge or Inzora Rooftop Cafe) in search of a sale. I can never find the dude(s) when I want strawberries so it’s nice to be able to get strawberry-related juice and smoothies here. You know, for those times that you need that strawberry fix. Which is always.
Many of the options on the menu can be altered for vegans and some items are already vegan. There is a bit of confusion though when the ‘Vegan Scrambled Eggs’ has ‘scrambled tofu, eggs, green peppers, onion, tomatoes, and parsley’ as ingredients. Is the scrambled tofu the ‘eggs’ or are eggs the ‘eggs’? As it turns out, it’s all tofu but it’s a bit confusing, especially if you’re strict about your diet. It reminds me a bit of the days when Bourbon Coffee had a vegan sandwich… with ham. But Luckily Afia Organics seem to have a firm grasp on the concept of veganism.
Afia Organics has a small selection of healthy type items including avocado oil, shea butter from Uganda, protein powder, hand made soap, fresh fruit and veggies, and a selection of seeds, nuts, and dried fruit that are hard to find. I’d like to see them consolidate this small store area to make room for a few seats inside. The balcony area gets really hot on a sunny day and their fan wasn’t working when I was there most recently. It was sweaty city, ladies and gents. If there were some higher tables located inside, I would love to come here with my laptop to work and to sip on a smoothie while enjoying a healthy lunch. However it’s difficult to stick around for too long when the porch is a semi-sauna when it’s sunny.
I quite life Afia Organics, even though tofu and things that are supposed to be meat or eggs but are actually tofu sort of freak me out. I’m a simple girl. But this place manages to take tofu and surprise you with interesting flavours. Add in all of the other choices and you have a nice spot for a light and affordable lunch in Kimihurura.
Give it a try and let us all know what you think in the comments below!
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 8am – 8pm
Phone: 0787 322 132