May 2017 – With the opening of Wilderness Safaris’ first lodge in Rwanda just a few weeks away, Bisate’s experienced food and beverage team has finalised its fine dining experience, fusing local Rwandan flavours with contemporary international cuisine.
“In keeping with the light ecological footprint adopted by all aspects of our operations and to ensure our continued support of the community, we will be sourcing most of our fresh produce from our very own kitchen garden and from neighbouring farms, all situated within a five-kilometre radius of the lodge”, said Bisate’s Food and Beverage Manager, Benjamin Nskekuye. “By embracing the concept of the ‘potager’ or kitchen garden, we will grow a mixture of annual and perennial fruit, vegetables and culinary herbs to ensure that our guests and staff are well supplied with fresh food and that our indigenous farm-to-table dining experience is both authentic and world class”.
“Our chefs will use only the freshest ingredients, old-world techniques and modern inspiration to create a sustainable and unique dining experience”, he explained. “The menu evolves with the seasons, according to what nature allows us to harvest, as we only take what we need from the land. The altitude and climate of Bisate calls for slow-cooked, hearty but healthy dishes and by serving them in colourful ceramics we can highlight both the natural ingredients and the atmospheric forest setting”.
Local ingredients likely to feature strongly in Bisate’s menu planning include wild honey, avocado, climbing beans, mango, kale, papaya, plantain, passion fruit, pineapple, macadamia nuts and chilies. A highlight for many will be their first experience of Rwandan coffee – sourced from the local Kigufi Coffee Estate – called Gato Keza.
“We will have coffee tastings and different flavours of the Gato Keza coffee available so that our guests can order the coffee of their liking with our barista”, said Bisate GM Ingrid Baas. “Our service staff have received training on the different types of coffee and how to make the best coffee from bean to cup; guests will also notice hints of coffee flavour in some of the dishes during their meals, especially in some of the desserts”.
Signature Bisate dining experiences will include interactive dining with the lodge’s resident Rwandan chefs, giving guests the opportunity to experience local dishes such as liboke (chicken cooked and served in banana leaves), sambaza (fried, spicy small fish spiced served with ginger rice), coconut fish and kachumbari (a traditional tomato and onion salad).
Bisate’s wine cellar is one of the eye catchers in the lodge and will be the perfect place to either dine, or enjoy a book from the extensive library in front of the fireplace whilst sipping on a brandy or good glass of wine. Wine tasting will also be offered before dinner, and our staff will assist in pairing the perfect bottle with each meal. Guests will be able to walk to the Bisate nursery for an al fresco lunch, harvesting their own ingredients to use in their meal. The in-villa evening dining experience will allow guests to relax and unwind after their gorilla trekking experience at the end of a day.