Located on a working tea plantation on the edge of the Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda, every element of One&Only Nyungwe House has been carefully considered to embrace the wild surroundings and celebrate the destination, from the resort’s design and décor, spa and wellness philosophy, programme of authentic experiences for guests to discover and through to the inspired farm-to-table dining that celebrates the best of Rwanda’s natural resources.
Executive Chef Treasure Makwanise and his team of chefs curate every menu daily, based on guests’ preferences and the best of the season’s ingredients. The cuisine at One&Only Nyungwe House heroes the incredible natural flavours of Rwanda, prepared with rustic tradition and served with contemporary flair. Favouring organic and local produce wherever possible, the culinary team creates flavourful dishes, with a choice of nutritious and indulgent options. Guests can choose to enjoy nourishing breakfasts, leisurely lunches and comforting evening meals in The Dining Room, the elegant Rwandan-inspired restaurant with idyllic plantation views. Alternatively, the resort’s chefs can prepare a gourmet picnic to devour during a day exploring, set up memorable private dining experiences on one of the resort’s spectacular decks, or guests can savour in-room dining in the comfort of their guest room or expansive private terrace.
Chef Treasure, originally from Zimbabwe, began his career at One&Only Cape Town in South Africa as a kitchen steward. He quickly developed a passion for cuisine that was nurtured by the resort’s culinary team and he progressed through the ranks, receiving a scholarship to train at the prestigious South African Chefs Academy in Cape Town. Moving overseas to broaden his experience including the United Arab Emirates, the Seychelles and aboard a major cruise ship, Chef Treasure then returned to South Africa before re-joining One&Only Cape Town. He was then tapped as the Executive Chef at One&Only Nyungwe House.
Many of the herbs and vegetables used at the resort are grown in the Chef’s Garden, where guests are able to join Chef Treasure to discover local ingredients and learn where the inspiration for the resort’s delicious dishes begins. After picking their own produce, guests will make an appetizing, fresh salad from the ingredients they have selected - the ideal accompaniment to a flavourful, locally-inspired meal.
The culinary team have taken inspiration from characteristic Rwandan dishes such as Agatogo, a local recipe using plantain, and Isombe, from cooked cassava leaves, to create a menu that embraces the traditional food culture of the country, but offers a new twist. Chef Treasure’s Agatogo is made using locally-sourced Nile Perch fish, steamed with spices and served on a bed of plantain and dodo, a local spinach, which is cooked with peanuts for a creamy, nutty taste. Located on a working tea plantation, One&Only Nyungwe House chefs have developed a number of tea-inspired creations using fresh leaves from the surrounding fields. Signature dishes include Nyungwe Green Goddess Pasta, dressed in an innovative tea pesto and topped with parmesan foam, a unique recipe developed by Chef Treasure and served with fresh locally sourced green beans, peas and spinach, and handmade pasta flavoured with tea leaves.
The resort’s Tea Lounge is the ideal place for guests to relax and take in the panoramic tree-top views. The Tea Lounge serves a selection of homemade afternoon tea delicacies, best enjoyed with a cup of Nyungwe tea. Guests can learn more about the tea-making process from selecting the best leaves to sampling the finished blend during the daily Tea Ceremony. Starting in the Tea Lounge, the experience takes guests out to visit the surrounding tea plantation to pick their own leaves, with a chance to appreciate the incredible vistas from the Tea Ceremony Deck.
Two traditional African bomas are the perfect locations for barbeques to serve a selection of freshly grilled meat, local fish sourced from nearby Lake Kivu, and vegetables from the Chef’s Garden. Guests arrive to a selection of homemade crisps made from plantain, yams, cassava – all local ingredients used in Rwandan cuisine – and homemade marshmallows for roasting on the open fire. The boma is an ideal setting for guests to gather and catch up on a day’s adventures under the night’s sky, accompanied by the sounds of vibrant musical entertainment performed by a local cooperative.
Bespoke private dining experiences are also available with a choice of spectacular locations and hidden vistas. Amidst the verdant tea plants, the Tea Ceremony Deck doubles as an enchanting location for private dining in the evenings, reached by a pathway lit by fire-lanterns. Cantilevered over the forest, the infinity pool deck can be transformed for evening dining with floating candles and atmospheric lighting, or for a once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience immersed in the wild, dinner can also be served on an elevated deck in the Nyungwe Forest surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature.
Guests can enjoy innovative al fresco cocktails around the open fire, accompanied by awe-inspiring vistas at The Bar. Serving a carefully crafted selection of rare and small-batch gins from South Africa, including Hope on Hopkins, Musgrave and Triple 3, each spirit is individually paired with fresh botanicals, herbs from the Chef’s Garden, spices and fruit. The resort has also created a selection of gin cocktails which are infused with local tea leaves for a refreshing and distinctive aperitif, including the signature Nyungwe Cocktail with apple juice, gin, tea from the surrounding plantation and topped with South African bubbles. For wine lovers, One&Only Nyungwe House has a well-stocked, expertly-selected cellar, highlighting vineyards from regions of the Western Cape of South Africa, as well as France, Napa Valley, New Zealand and Italy.
Discussing the culinary offering at the resort, Chef Treasure said, “At One&Only Nyungwe House, our cuisine is inspired by fresh local produce and seasonal availability, with a farm-to-table ethos. We are surrounded by the fertile lands of Gisakura and we support local and organic producers where possible. We tailor everything to guests’ preferences, creating bespoke menus every day which I explain to our guests. All our dishes are made in-house - we bake our own bread and pastries, blend our own ice cream and handmake our pasta to execute a dining experience that matches the beautiful natural surroundings of Nyungwe.”