Sunday, July 27, 2008

Octopus Risotto

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.


Blogger Cassandra said...

Risotto without rice... doesn't surprise me too much here! I'd be curious if you made a list of restaurants you tried and liked. I've been in Kigali a week and unfortunately have to eat out more than I like- I've eaten at a few random buffets, La Nouvelle Planete, O Sole Luna (which was my favourite) and Republika. Any suggestions for where to go next?

7/29/2008 9:09 AM  
Blogger Your Host said...


Great blog! I live in Germany, but my brother and his wife (Americans) are moving to Rwanda to work in a conservation park. They are very excited, but (having never lived overseas) are a little clueless on how to prepare. Can I ask, if you don't mind if they could email you some basic questions on taxes, insurance? My email is Many regards, and again great blog

7/29/2008 3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Octopus risotto? what the heck! I was laughing so hard. Anyways, I may be rwandase/american but I have learned never to eat anything fancy ( such as octpus) over there. I had some horrible food but so far the restaurant in Akagera Park was the best. So, Cassandra, if you do visit Akagera , try the food at the Hotel Akagera. O Sole Luna had the best pizza , small but yumy.

7/29/2008 8:54 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Indian Khazana is the best restaurant ever. Also, New Cactus is fun.

10/15/2008 3:44 PM  

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