Thursday, 18 October 2012

I'm on tonight / You know my hips don't lie

Bamboo Bar and Restaurant, 5th Floor, T2000 building (next to Kigali City Tower)

When I first arrived in Rwanda, Brussels Airlines (then SN Brussels) lost my bags for nearly a fortnight. My visits to their offices served as a daily insult as their indifference to my plight, and to their own incompetent role in events, grew colder. Eventually I needed of a change of underwear so I ventured to the T2000 supermarket to stock up on some fresh y-fronts.

Figuring that the average Chinese gentleman might be somewhat more slightly proportioned than I in terms of arse-o-metric volume, I picked out two packets of five XXL undies with a photograph of a muscular looking chap on the front. Alas, even XXL proved to be tight around my somewhat thuggish physique and the only effective way of removing said smalls without risk to the balls was to bend over, reach between my legs, take a good grip of the rear part of the waistband and tear the polyester bastards off like a hairy unrehearsed Chippendale. The static charge generated by this act was enough to knock an owl out of a tree, but I managed to perfect the technique after a few days and it became an exciting part of my evening routine.

Since then T2000 has moved premises and expanded upwards. Bamboo restaurant is on the 5th floor. You have to go up in a lift. Imagine that.

I arrive early and double-fist my mutzig while admiring the view. For some daft reason I'm dressed in a three-piece bespoke suit. The Director arrives, similarly smartly turned out, having attended a fancy function across town.

"Is there anywhere in this town worth dressing up for?"

Vegetable spring rolls are crispy, with plenty of filling. The chicken spring rolls are packed with shredded dark meat with none of the usual nobbly bits that stick in your teeth. Good.

"They remind me of the spring rolls I used to buy after a night on the turps from the late night chinese restaurant in Bangor circa 1995. A tray of chips and curry sauce for 60 pence. Urinating against the back wall of the cathedral. Good times."

Beef with oyster sauce is like swimming through a murky grey pond of mono-sodium glutamate, while tropical pork (very authentic) has delightfully fatty boulders of crunchy pork and a lighter touch with the saucing. Ginger rice pairs well flavour-wise, but has a strange almost risotto-like consistency. All the dishes are brought to the table in cold serving dishes, which combined with the cool breeze in the restaurant means it's all a bit chilly after a few minutes.

We reckon the bar at the Top Tower might be the sort of place where the smartly-dressed might go for a whisky digestif, but change our minds when we hear live music drifting out of fantastically named 'Fantastic Restaurant'. A band is belting out loud Rwandan classics to a seated crowd of coldly indifferent men. Everyone is focused on the main event: Champions League Football showing on a small TV screen in the corner.

"There's nowhere worth dressing up for in this town. That shouldn't stop us though."

1 comment:

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