Sunday, 2 May 2010

Yeah, there's a great truth you should know

Select is a proper restaurant. It is a cocktails in the bar, lashings of red wine, three courses, cigars and brandy restaurant. It is also, for Kigali, a bit on the pricey side (read: London mid-range pricing). If anything this improves the place somewhat, as it keeps out the young-gifted-&-white riff-raff who think it's acceptable to go out to dinner wearing flip-flops and a t-shirt with writing on. Instead you'll find senior civil servants, perhaps a politician or two, sharp-suited business men, and clean-shirted expats who don't wear baseball caps at the table.

There is a nice view of the city, as is compulsory these days, and the whole place is comfortably elegant. You know you're in a serious restaurant, but there is none of the stiff formality.

Most of the food is sourced locally, but a fair bit is air-freighted from Europe or the Swahili coast. I know this is naughty, but look at the menu: monster prawns, scallops, sea bass, Dover sole... and if you want to be really naughty you can order melt in the mouth foie gras.

Most dishes on the menu are European classics. Goat cheese tart is far better than it should be, and beef carpaccio is precise but perhaps a little too delicate on flavour. Did I mention the foie gras? Mains are pretty robust - how about a fatty, juicy heft of pork shoulder that is practically hanging of the plate (according to the owner, this is rapidly becoming Select's signature dish)? Coq au vin is traditional and without a trace of poulet bicyclette, and prawns comes as big as your hand. Oh yeah - the chips are good too.

The staff are charming and efficient. There's no need to double fist your Mutzigs here as the service is prompt and attentive without being pushy or lurking. The owner, Michel, has run restaurants around the world and welcomes you self-deprecatingly, while the head chef acts as his foil, making sure no lady's hand goes unkissed. A tour of the impressive kitchen reveals a relaxed and smiling team who believe in what they are doing.

Book a table. Go. Wear your best shoes.

Select Website

1 comment:

atuchan said...

Chef is fantastic. Although bit tucked away behind the parliament, it is worth going there. I would love to see more glass wine choices though.