Umva, one thing that delightfully distinguishes Kigali from other African cities is the near-total lack of a kiosk culture here.
Ignoring the telecom-branded kiosks, perhaps the closest one will get to a kiosk in Kigali is a milk parlour. Umva, have you seen those tiny cubicles bearing the immortal inscription; “amata meza” (fresh milk)?
Like the grocery kiosks that mushroom out of big African cities, the milk parlours in Kigali are everywhere you turn. I have decided to bundle them together as “milk parlours” because they bear similar traits and, therefore, if you’ve been to one of them, you’ve been to all.
Resto Morina Chez Olivia is one such place, only it is a milk parlour and more.
Like the rest of its competition, Morina Chez Olivia is big on milk, and you have a choice between hot and cold. I know a group of white volunteers who seem to derive immense pleasure from placing their milk orders come breakfast. They stress and repeat the words “ikonje” and “ishushi” (Kinyarwanda for ‘cold’ and ‘hot’ respectively) like their very lives depended on it. Sweet bananas, cake, boiled eggs, doughnuts and samosa compliment the milk well.
Chez Olivia’s biggest edge is its prime location right across the road from the president’s office in Kacyiru. Branch off from the signpost to Umurengi wa Kacyiru, and about 30 meters down, to your right, is Chez Olivia.
Location aside, it is one of those few places you can bank on for that 6:00am bowl of Boilo, served hot like hell itself. Boilo is a local derivative for “boiled”, and denotes the mode of preparation. It is a dish of green bananas, Irish and boiled meat accompanied with more than generous quantities of soup. Just walk in, sit down, say ‘boilo’ (or however you pronounce it), and there, you will hear a loud order being conveyed to the kitchen.
This is the traditional crowd puller come breakfast, and so popular it is, management is pushing its price up from Rwf600 to Rwf800 in a week’s time. You can accompany this with either a glass of milk, passion juice or fanta, all at Rwf300. They also do Kisangani (cow’s tongue chopped into fine cubes and served with mashed banana meal at a pocket-friendly Rwf1,000. should you want your breakfast lighter, try their omelet special (3 eggs plus chips) at Rwf1,200.
At only rwf1,000, Chez Olivia has some of the cheapest buffet in town, and yet filling. It runs from midday to 2:30 pm, and serves anything from rice, beans, beef, pasta, matooke, posho and yam. Recently, brochette has been added to the menu, with a skewer going for Rwf500.