I went to the Restaurant Hellenique (aka “the Greek restaurant”) the other day in my never-ending quest to try different restaurants in Kigali (apart from the brochette and buffet places, the restaurants are pretty finite). It’s a beautiful setting, on the side of the hill in Kimihurura. It’s also a guest house, with a few rooms and an inviting pool.
My friend swore by this restaurant, so I decided to take a leap of faith and try the octopus risotto. I mean—octopus? In Kigali? But I crossed my fingers and ordered it anyway. When I did, the waiter said, “Would you like a side of rice?”
I looked at my friend and then back at the waiter, and couldn’t help but laugh—“risotto” is an Italian dish made with rice, I explained. So why would I want risotto with a side of rice? I didn’t need carbs on top of carbs, so I declined.
Twenty-five minutes later, our food emerged. My friend’s grilled meat looked and smelled great. The waiter then presented me with my dish: a plate of octopus in sauce on lettuce. There was no risotto in my risotto. My friend and I cracked up at the measly, brown, Atkins-worthy pile on my plate, and I asked the waiter, “But where is the risotto?”
“That is risotto,” he said, obviously confused.
I ordered that side of rice after all.