Eritrean food sounds particularly exotic and unknown, but really it was just an excuse for the entire Hays clan (all 3 of us) to eat food similar to Ethiopian food while they were visiting in London!
I suppose if you are Eritrean or Ethiopian (and since about 6 people in total read this blog, you probably aren’t), you could tell the difference between the two cuisines, but I for one can’t…and that’s a good thing! (I can’t even discern any major differences from the Wikipedia articles.) Ethiopian food has always topped my list of favorite cuisines, and since the other is Indian food, I’ve come to the realization that I like my food mushy, with tons of spices, and traditionally eaten with your hands.
I must admit…it’s been awhile since we ate at this place and I haven’t been able to post because right after we went to Turkey, then I was busy with schoolwork, then I went to India. So…I’ve forgotten most of the details. I’ll try to compensate with pictures.
First of all, we were really pleasantly surprised with the traditional Eritrean honey wine we ordered. We expected it to be unbearably sweet, but it was actually really nice!
For appetizers we got sambusas, an Ethiopian (and I guess Eritrean!) staple similar to samosas (gastronomically and linguistically.) We also tried some stuffed chillies served with injeras. I had never seen this before but they were really nice…fresh and spicy.
For dinner, I let the chef do the choosing. Whenever there’s a combo on an Ethiopian menu, I usually go for it because you get to try more things. This combo for 4 came with 8 selections, so way more than we would have been able to order by ourselves. One of my favorites made an appearance- doro wat (I think), chicken with a hardboiled egg. I made sure it included my other favorite, collard greens, and requested some farmers cheese on top, which I learned from my favorite Ethiopian restaurant in Amsterdam. I love all kinds of cheese (except Mongolian!), but this version is like a crumbly, creamier cottage cheese, with a consistency sort of similar to soft goat cheese.
Not sure what else we got other than the standard mix of lentils, chickpeas, etc. The problem with the frequency of which I eat Ethiopian food is that I’ve become rather picky. This meal was great, but not the best I’ve had. The restaurant though, was nicely decorated, and full even though it was a weekday in the height of the pre-Christmas snow disaster. And because it’s pretty close to my neighborhood, I’d definitely go back.
P.S.: Thanks to Ken and Ellen Hays for sponsoring the letter E meal! 🙂
44-46 Brixton Road SW9 6BT (closest tube: Oval), tel: 020 7587 0055, 5-12am M-Thur, 1pm-12am F-S, about 10 pounds per entree.