Kigali seems to have had some kind of a bakery revolution over this past year. The small but tasty bakery at Umubano Hotel has been joined by Brood inside the Sawa City supermarket, Rz Manna in Nyarutarama, and by Brioche. All of these places are the real deal and are known for their own things. Brood does great breads and croissants, Rz Manna has a huge selection of all kinds of cakes and drinks, and Brioche has good bread and amazing mousse cakes that can’t be found anywhere else in the city.
Brioche was the first of this new breed of bakery and they seem to be pretty busy each time I go in around lunch time. Plus their cakes and breads often make appearances at dinner parties so I imagine the small bakery does a decent trade in takeaway goodies, as well. They’ve followed the lead of Rz Manna and introduced a “Members of Brioche” coffee loyalty card. I’m not sure about the details but ask about it next time you’re there.
Brioche offers up some decent sandwiches and they’re the first in Kigali to take the crazy step of allowing customers to choose what toppings go on their sandwich. MADNESS! Sure, it’s not exactly an extensive or creative selection of toppings, but it’s nice to have a little bit of sandwich freedom, at least. They’ve also followed in the footsteps of the folks at Rz Manna and have created a reward system for regular customers…
The sandwich bread is really great. Nice and crunchy and fresh. But beware of ordering tuna (Rwf 3,300) because when you squish down on the bread, all of the tuna goodness squashes out the sides. In an attempt to eat my sandwich with minimal tuna explosion, I tried to bite gently without squashing which meant that the crunchy bread somehow jagged into the top of the inside of my mouth. Yes, I might be the only person incapable of eating a sandwich without causing myself pain. Anyway, my point is, the crunchy bread might be better suited to something like ham and cheese. But the sandwich, besides personal injury, was really nice. Rz Manna’s tuna triple decker is still my favourite sandwich in Kigali but Brioche are a close second.
The cakes at Brioche are probably my favourite indulgent treat the city has to offer along with the New Cactus and L’Epicurien chocolate mousse. Yes, I love chocolate mousse and Brioche’s cakes are really less cake-y and more mousse-y in lots of different flavours. They’re delicious and the choice seems to have tripled since the last time I was there several months ago. That delicious thing in the photo up above is the “Bombe Chocolat” (Rwf 2,900) and it’s pretty amazing and probably also diabetes inducing. But worth a bit of diabetes, I’d say.
One thing that annoys me about Brioche is their coffee. When I’m eating a wonderful, amazing cake o’ deliciousness, I like to enjoy it with some kind of fancy coffee. At Brioche the only coffee choice you have is ‘with milk’ or ‘without milk’. I realise they’re more of a bakery and sandwich place than a full on cafe but fancy cakes should come with fancy coffees. Like yin and yang, salt and pepper, Calvin and Hobbes – these things just belong together. Plus their coffee is kind of lame. For the price (Rwf 1,800) I’d expect a a nice, big French press full of coffee but all you get is a smallish mug. The coffee is really good… it’s just not that big for the price you pay.
Ah… the prices. This is the main complaint I hear repeatedly about Brioche. My coffee, cake and tuna sandwich (which was large enough to take half home for later) came to Rwf 8,000. About $12 which is pricey, yes, but worth it as a treat now and then. While the coffee is overpriced for what you get, the sandwiches and especially the cakes deliver. People often moan about Kigali’s expensive restaurants and cafes but, if they can delivery on quality, I’m happy to treat myself occasionally with the knowledge that I’m going to get something good.
I’ve been there several times now the food is of a high standard, consistent and is served extremely quickly. The staff are friendly and professional, and I always enjoy going there. Though nicely decorated on the inside, a storefront at the KBC shopping plaza is a tough place to make cozy. The atmosphere isn’t great and there’s not a lot of seating so it’s probably not a place you’ll hang out at for a long time. But I really Brioche are great if you’re looking for something really nice to bring to a dinner party. To my dinner parties, I mean. Take note. I like the chocolate mousse cakes. Thanks.
Hours: Daily, 6:30am – 8pm
Phone: 0787 613 233
More Info: Brioche on Eating in Kigali