Afrika Bite: Food from the pot

Afrika Bite is more than just African cuisine. There are lots of African prints on display everywhere you turn; from the flamboyant kitengi shirts donned by the wait staff, to the table mats, furniture, wall hangings, right down to the ladles and cooking pots.
Going to Afrika Bite can actually feel like visiting a friend’s home for lunch or dinner. All pictures Sunday Times/Moses Opobo
Going to Afrika Bite can actually feel like visiting a friend’s home for lunch or dinner. All pictures Sunday Times/Moses Opobo

Afrika Bite is more than just African cuisine. There are lots of African prints on display everywhere you turn; from the flamboyant kitengi shirts donned by the wait staff, to the table mats, furniture, wall hangings, right down to the ladles and cooking pots.

They have ebony wood carvings and local crafts on sale for the sentimental patron. But warning: they are not very cheap.

Going to Afrika Bite can actually feel like visiting a friend’s home for lunch or dinner, especially with their stereo that is ever hooked to VOA.

Like most other food outlets in the Kimihurura area, it is a middle class residential house-turned resto. What used to be the living room now constitutes the main dining area, at the furthest end of which stands the buffet. The other smaller rooms offer more dining space, for that person who is averse to crowds. They take in about three tables each.

Afrika Bite’s premier attraction is the African buffet, priced at Rwf3,000 (minus drink). The buffet runs weekdays from midday to 3:00pm, but unlike most other buffets around town, they also do a night shift from 7:00-10:30pm. Ironically, the night buffet, which offers a little less variety goes for an extra Rwf500.

Part of the buffet’s crowning glory is the fresh passion juice that comes ever chilled, although you have to be among the early birds to catch it.

Mzungus are a common sighting at Afrika Bite, and what draws them to this place is not free wi-fi or rock music or pizza, but decent African food: matoke, posho, potatoes, cassava, beef, peanut sauce, fish, rice, beans …

And what’s this thing about mzungus and peanut sauce? When mzungus hit the buffet, the first thing they make sure to confirm is if peanut sauce is on the menu. More than being just a tasty dish, the sauce seems to fascinate them a lot, especially when teamed with steamed matoke.

When people come to Afrika Bite, it is usually for either of two reasons; have a taste of authentic East African cooking, or sip a quiet drink from the neat lawns.

Come Saturdays, and the chef rolls out the Ugandan delicacy called luwombo. Luwombo is basically steamed chicken/beef/mushroom or peanuts wrapped in wet banana leaves. There are the usual other meats; brochette, grilled chicken and fish on offer every day of the week.

 

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