Our ‘last lunch’ at Kigali was in Caiman. Our cousins had raved about it from the time we went to Rwanda, and by the end of it, we couldn’t wait anymore…They had told us that it was almost an open restaurant, with very good African food. And since we had dined at Republika (Read — Review of Republika Restaurant) only the other evening, Caiman, we agreed, would be good for lunch that Sunday noon. And looked up at the skies to tell them to behave – that’s no rain, and not too much sun either…please, we prayed.
The weather Gods were with us. It was just that perfect afternoon, few clouds sailing in the sky and the sun playing hide and seek, making it pleasant for the mortals in Kigali.
Caiman wasn’t far from our cousins’ house. Upon reaching there and parking the car in the clearing that’s the parking lot, we looked towards the restaurant. And all that we saw was part of an enclosure with shrubs and trees that had a stone-bamboo structure on the left, and some smoke billowing from the other end of the open space. Curious, we walked up the stone stairs to find a large lawn dotted with a couple of Acacia trees and Hisbiscus shrubs on our right, and a round open restaurant to our left. At the far end of the lawn was a big play area for children. And ah! There were wooden tables and benches in the lawn. The barbeque station was just across them. That’s where the fire and the smoke was 🙂
We were delighted!!! This was like a picnic!!! The owner, a tall Rwandan with a broad smile, came up to us and enquired about our seating preferences. We didn’t take a second to tell him that we wanted to sit under the tree. His boys quickly arranged the table and the chairs in a way that the sun couldn’t bother us, and there we sat, under the sky and under the tree, with almost a 180 degree view of Kigali city. There was a big group celebrating a birthday party on the opposite side. What a perfect place for a lazy Sunday brunch!!!
We left it to our cousins to place the order, since they were regulars there and knew exactly what to order. That they did and requested for a large serving of barbequed Lamb and Pork, Grilled Chicken, Spicy Potatoes over local Mutzig & Skol beers, Smirnoff Black and soft drinks. The items on the skewers and the smell of the barbeque left us longing for more and more despite having our heart’s and stomach’s fill! Wish we had a few more days to sample everything on the menu.
Price: That’s the biggest secret — less than a couples dinner bill in some other fancy restaurant
Final word on Caiman in Kigali: Caiman will stay in our hearts as our most favourite restaurant. Such a basic, beautiful, serene and lovely place. If you like beer or wine with great barbequed meat under the sun or the stars, go to Caiman in Kigali!