It is obvious who eats at Malien Restaurant, known by the locals only as ‘kwa’ba Senegali’, meaning The Senegalese.
On a busy Nyamirambo street motorcycles are packed at the entrance of this dingy street eating place. You have to negotiate your way carefully to the sitting area.
Inside the restaurant the ambience can easily be compared to the New York stock exchange.
On this particular Saturday Rayon Sport is playing Mukura FC in the Primus League.
Everyone has an opinion on the game; all speaking very loudly at the same time. You have to shout at the top of your voice for the waiter to take your order.
But ordering is simple, the meal is the same for everyone, all you have to say is ‘Mirange’ literally meaning mixture of all that is on the menu for that day.
However, waiters tend to ignore you. If you are lucky enough to be noticed by a waiter, within seconds there will be a plate of food in front of you.
The menu is rich and normally includes cabbage, beans, beef stew, rice, French fries, spaghetti and cassava manioc on special order.
You can enjoy roast chicken, indeed anything the chef will prepare, but you have to go to a shop and buy it first!
The large jug of drinking water in the middle of the table is on the house. For Frw750 you get a full plate of food and a soft drink.
The food is well prepared, the beans and cabbages are a favourite, while the beef is below modest standards, but the portions are rich enough to get you going.
It would be an injustice not to write about the sitting arrangement at Malien.
The usually congested place has two sitting areas.
A small table with chairs placed on both sides is right at the entrance of the restaurant, the cramped space makes for some very uncomfortable contact.
The other sitting area is right in between the toilet and the kitchen!