For a long time, I have been going to Master Grill restaurant and enjoying the meat, but I had never fully appreciated it until the lockdown on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The lockdown has slowed me down to taste and appreciate food in ways I never did.
After the lockdown was partially lifted, yearning for a break from home cooked meals, my first stop was Master Grill located at Remera Kisementi right on the edge of the bar-strewn street behind Equity Bank in Kigali.
It is owned by a Kenyan expatriate in Rwanda.
Master Grill has an East African buffet that includes mukimo (a traditional Kenyan dish that is a mix of mashed potatoes, peas, and maize), sukuma wiki (collard greens), chapati and matumbo (tripe).
They also prepare matooke, groundnut stew and ugali, as well as pumpkin, sweet potatoes, cassava, arrowroots and beans that are synonymous with the Rwandan traditional umuganura (harvest festival).
Together with two friends, we went through the now well-known routine of washing our hands and giving our names, phone numbers and residence at the entrance; precautionary measures to easily trace people in case of Covid-19 infections.
We ordered pork ribs, which were served 30 minutes later. The pepper in the kachumbari was too hot for my liking, and I settled for sliced raw tomatoes instead. I also had roasted bananas along with the meat.
These turned out to be the best roasted pork ribs I have ever eaten in Kigali. I say this as a self-appointed meat taster, having tried different grills around the city. My friends made similar glowing remarks about the food.
The ribs were tender yet firm, tearing off easily from the bone, indicating that the meat was likely to have been marinated before hitting the grill.
Since that visit, I have ordered home delivery for their other grill delicacies like the smoked ham pork, which was equally good.
Other grilled meat options prepared at master grill include roast goat meat, tilapia, beef ribs, beef stew, pork spare ribs, and roast chicken. These can be accompanied by roasted bananas, chips, roasted Irish potatoes or cornbread.
Although the place lacks in the “big restaurant” ambience, the facilities were upgraded this year to make it more spacious.
Their prices are affordable with 1kg of pork ribs at Rwf8000 ($9).
In addition to the great service, on many of my visits to Master Grill I have forgotten personal items like caps and jackets, which I always find were kept safely for me.
One time I even forgot my phone on the counter and headed home, but upon realising I came back and found they had kept it and I got it back after proving it belonged to me.