Le Virunga african restaurant in Montreal - Black Milk Women




It was through an impromptu dinner with friends, that I discovered Le Virunga. I’m ashamed to say, that I have never eaten in an African restaurant before but, Le Virunga was the perfect place to pop my “African Gastronomy” cherry. I decided to go back with my husband and re-experience “The New Kid On The Block” in the Republic of The Plateau.

Nestled on the busy Rachel avenue and neighbour to, La Banquise and Romadoes, Le Virunga is in a league of it’s own when it comes to authentic African cuisine. Congolese, Kenyan and Tanzanian traditional dishes are the main inspirations. Since it’s opening in June, it’s modest outward appearance can almost be overlooked on the notoriously lively street but, upon entry, the restaurant stimulates all your senses. The colourful decor of each table, boasts hand-made green, gold and dark brown tablecloths/runners. The scent of the various spices and dishes, illuminate your senses and have you craving for whatever is being prepared. As an added bonus, live music is played on Saturday’s. To kick things off, Virunga offers all clients plantain chips to munch on while reviewing the menu options.

African food Kachumbari

Although the menu is not as extensive as other restaurants, it allows for authentic dishes, refined flavours and fresh ingredients. Our hostess/waitress, Zoya (who is also part owner), explained all the specials, as well as the menu, with exact details and precision. We opted to share the Croquettes de Malangwa as an appetizer. This is a lightly seasoned and breaded, white fish, served with aioli sauce for an added “zing”, on a bed of Kachumbari (carrots, onion, peppers, hot pepper, mango with honey lemon dressing). It’s slightly sweet, with a hint of spice for flavor. For drinks, we both choose the Bamako Passion. The passion fruit, lemon and Gin flavours, compliment each other perfectly, while the ginger ale and mint create the final touches for a refreshing, light, thirst-quenching taste.

African food cuisse de poulet Soukousou
African food Le Virunga Bamako passion

Our main meal was the Cuisse de Poulet Soukousou. Ingredients included, grain-fed chicken, peanut sauce, pureed plantain and pondu. I was a bit weary, since I’m not a big fan of peanuts but when I tasted the first piece, I was pleasantly surprised. All the flavours blended well with each other. The chicken was cooked to perfection...not too soft, nor too chewy. It broke apart with ease and melted in my mouth. In addition, the pureed plantain provided a soft, sweet, twist to the plate, while the Pondu’s smooth consistency and mild spiciness, envelops the entire meal.


To conclude, we shared a Beignet dessert (also known as “Puff-Puff” in Nigeria or “Mitake” in Lingala). This consists of 3 mini, deep fried donuts with different flavours; nature, powdered sugar and caramel with coconut shavings. They’re not too sweet, so the flavour isn’t overbearing but just right. It was a great way to end the meal.

Le Virunga

Overall Recommendation: If you want to taste what the world's richest continent has to offer in an intimate setting, along with excellent service, Le Virunga is a great option. Not to mention, the prices are fair, given the generous portions. Lastly, they will be re-vamping their Fall/WInter menu this month to incorporate South African inspired meals and more vegetarian options.


851 Rachel

Montreal, QC

Hours: Tuesday - Saturday


Mel is an occasional grill-totin', lifestyle writer. She scouts movers, doers and everything in between.


Create Your Lifestyle XoXo