Brachetto opened a while ago (I totally forget when… Kigali is a place where one loses all concept of time, it would appear) to a lot of excitement, at least amongst my group of friends. New restaurants are an exciting development in sleeping ol’ Kigali!
I wandered in there on one of their first nights to find a beautiful setting with tables overlooking the city from a nice patio, potted plants all around, and the feeling of something good to come. The place was packed already and we had a cocktail while we waited to be served. That first experience of Brachetto was mixed. On one hand the setting was very nice and the cocktails were delicious, but on the other hand the server’s didn’t seem to be well-trained and the food was not up to par for the price they were charging (Rwf 13,500 for a main).
But Brachetto is a great example of a place that has worked out its kinks over the months. Alessandro the chef/owner is proud that his staff have stuck with him from the beginning and he’s stuck by them as well. You can see how they’ve improved since that first night and the service there is now well above the usual standard found in Kigali. It’s no Sakae or New Cactus for service, but it’s getting closer and closer.
What Brachetto does do really well is the food and wine. And, when it comes down to it, it’s those things that are the most important! You’d expect great wine from a place named after a red Italian wine grape and they don’t disappoint. Us Kigali-dwellers don’t expect much from wine and it’s nice to have an opportunity to drink something that comes in a bottle rather than a box. Though it does leave me a bit overwhelmed when I have choice beyond white or red Drosty. But as an added bonus, Brachetto runs occasional wine tasting events, just keep an eye on their Facebook page for details.
That’s the wine out of the way… how’s the food? I hear you ask. It’s good folks, very good. I love that the menu is a bit more creative and you won’t find brochettes or spaghetti bolognaise on its pages. How about fois gras? Or calamari? Oh yes! Different things! The excitement is almost too much. They’re a great lunch destination with both a buffet added as an option as well as their usual full menu. The buffet is one of the more expensive choices in Kigali at Rwf 5,800 for the cold options and an extra Rwf 2,000 for a hot addition. Their buffet is more or less the same every day with a few salads, soft cheeses, guacamole, a delicious eggplant dish (and I don’t even like eggplant), and a dessert at the end. Pricy for Kigali but the quality of the foods on offer makes it worth it. The additional hot item is prepared on order and the rosemary chicken and potatoes was well worth the additional cost.
Their sandwiches are pretty creative with their fillings and are also pretty good value. I’m not a huge fan of the bread their served on as it seems a little too dense and crispy, making them a bit difficult to eat. I ordered one sandwich with basis once and got rocket on it instead and had a difficult time explaining myself when I tried to have it fixed. But in the end all was resolved and I got to enjoy the yummy basil, as ordered. The sandwiches are good, but the buffet is excellent and that’s what I tend to choose when I find myself at Brachetto for lunch. I’d also recommend giving their cocktails a try.
Any restaurant that has as many dessert options as they do main courses is fine by me. It’s their dessert and wine selection that truly sets them apart which, to me, says that I must come here to eat sweet things and drink wine. Time very well spent, if you ask me. The standout dessert is their chocolate mousse. This might be one of my favourite desserts of all time – in Kigali or out. The thick mousse is topped with roasted macadamia nuts and thyme which really take it to another level. I’ve never strayed from the chocolate mousse so I can’t vouch for any of the other desserts, but they look good as well.
Prices at Brachetto are higher than at most restaurants around Kigali but I really believe it’s worth it. You’ll get a main course for around Rwf 10,000 and a glass of wine from around Rwf 4,000 but the food and drinks will leave you feeling nicely full and satisfied. It’s a great place to splash out for a nice occasion or to impress someone on a date. The owner will often come out and greet his guests too which is a nice touch I’ve only ever seen happen at Heaven and Republika.
Brachetto has become one of my favourite spots for guaranteed good food and an enjoyable experience over all. I think it’s raised the bar for restaurants in Kigali and a few other places have since sprung up with a higher standard for food, wine, and service.
Have you been yet? What did you think? Please leave ratings and a few lines about your experience there below!
Hours: Monday to Friday, 11:30 am to 2:30 pm and 6 pm to 9:30 pm, Saturday 6 pm to 9:30 pm, Closed Sunday
Phone: 0787 178 133