Last weekend, the Masaka Farms Dairy in Gasabo treated revellers and Kigali socialites to its newest project, the Masaka Restaurant. It was a live music-open bar-barbecue affair, in what seemed like a showcase of what things lie ahead. We were told that live music will be a permanent fixture come Saturdays and Sundays, and that the pizza would be “the best that you can get out of Kigali”.
The mood was more carnival-like than restaurant, with the lawns teeming with families sharing sodas and nyama choma, while the kids took over the entire lawns.
One of the most striking things about Masaka Restaurant is the décor, which is so colourful that, with kids running about in the gardens, one would be excused to mistake it for an amusement park. The red tiled roof teams up with the bright yellow and orange walls, coupled with a slew of newly issued yellow plastic garden chairs from Skol to leave a lasting impression on the eye.
The restaurant sits on the Masaka Farms site near the Inyange dairy plant, right on the highway. Like the farm, the restaurant is owned by Serge Ndekwe, better known for his other business, the Papyrus Restaurant and Bar. Serge is a seasoned dairy farmer and entrepreneur who, since May 2008, has been engaged in small scale production of dairy products like yoghurt, fresh cream, cheese, and butter.
A portion of the six acre property was partitioned and developed into the restaurant, which sits between the farm and the dairy plant. The main building is an imposing open wall structure with large pillars and beautiful views of the outlying farmlands and their grazing herds. The lower section houses the main bar counter, one of the longest I have seen in Kigali. It has a cobbled stone floor and high-rise roof illuminated by chandeliers. The upper floor houses the toilets, dining area and lounge bar, suitable for family dinner or that quiet evening drink.
Masaka Restaurant is highly recommended for large group outings, weddings, parties and family time.
Three things made the restaurant’s launch tick; the pizza, nyama choma, which came sizzling and hot off the grill, and the live band, although the folks that belted tunes could have done better with less of those old school Congolese Rumba classics.