Monday, 8 March 2010

So spill your breakfast and drip your wine, just wear that dress when you dine.

Despite once drunkenly claiming it to be 'the best restaurant in Kigali', I don't go to New Cactus often enough. I think this is mainly because I can never find it in the dark.

The view here rivals the best of Kigali views, so it is a shame that it is hidden from most of the tables. A quick natter with Christophe - a charming waiter/front of house - secures us a decent view on the lawn, and boozy refreshments are delivered swiftly.

Shared Triangles of deep fried pastry-wrapped goats cheese and bacon dipped in honey are something of a taste sensation here, and disappear quickly. Massive avocado halves are let down slightly by a too heavy hand with the vinaigrette. Mushrooms on toast are from a tin, so avoid these.

Veal Cordon Bleu comes fist-sized (that's big - my hands are somewhat agricultural) and swimming in a rich cheese sauce which invites the dipping of perfect chips. Veg is that usual peculiar melange of frozen peas&brocolli&carrot a la Chez Lando.

After an initial confusion of orders, a steak arrives at our table shrunken and practically burnt rather than rare as requested. The Atilla the Hun of Restaurant feedback sends it back, and sure enough a properly cooked version swiftly appears along with an offer of extra chips.

So a screw-up then, but one quickly rectified and accompanied by all sorts of apologetic genuflection. How often do you find that in a Kigali restaurant? Complaints are usually met with an indifferent Sarkozy-esque shrug and a partial admission of responsibility...

New Cactus
Kayuku Street, Kiyovu I think...
Tel: +250252572572


Vysakh and Shereena said...

Cactus was one of the best restaurants in Kigali when there was no competition that was around 4 years ago and when the Owners or Managers used to stay behind the hotel and where present to seat you and ensure that the waiters behaved. The last time we went to Cactus was around 3 months back, the food was horrible, I have to say that because they brought the chips meant for 4 orders in a single bowl there was no veggies on the plate which they usually served in the past. The worst thing was that they took at least 1 hour and 30 minutes to serve us. The waiters did not even bother to see if our glasses needed to be refilled and overall it was a real bad experience. We used to frequent this place like 3 or 4 years back but its location (as you have said) and the fact that new restaurants where coming up all over kigali was our reason for not going to cactus but now we would never take the risk of going there not atleast in the near future.

Now another thing I was trying to find you email id to contact you about something that i don't want to mention here its about food and i believe it should be interesting to you.

Vysakh and Shereena said...

sorry i forgot to do spell check on my previous comment, my apologies.

Jiffler said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Vysakh and Shereena.

If you'd like to get in touch, mail me at: