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The Queen of Sheba – eaten and reviewed

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As I have been saying for a while now one of the things that I most enjoy about London is how totally cosmopolitan the place is. Growing up in a town that at the time had maybe one Indian restaurant and one pizza place the variety really is something to be proud of. So when I heard about Ethiopian restaurants I really had to go give it a try!

To summarise

12 Fortress Road, Kentish Town,NW5 2EU
An experience that I think has to be tried at least once. The food is great value and having to eat with your hands add’s that little bit extra to the experience (and the laundry bill if you end up wearing white clothes)!

Ross says – 7 out of 10

To waffle

Katenga - fiery pieces of fried breadBozena shiro - hot, spicey and rich stew - served with InjeraBati beer - my beer of choice! Better than the names suggests!This is very much what I would class as a “local restaurant”. Local not only to the community but also to the locals of the country of which its dishes are cooked. People say that you can tell a good Chinese restaurant by the number of Chinese people eating at it; if this is indeed true then this must be a very well respected Ethiopian restaurant, as the clientele seemed to be exclusively African/Ethiopian; everyone except me of cause. Not ever having had this cuisine before I went for a game of pot luck menu and chose:

  1. Katenga – crispy toasted Injera (flat bread) toasted in chillie
  2. Bozena Shiro – spicy chickpea and dry meat stew
  3. Gomen ayibey – collard green (spinach!) mixed with cottage cheese

Potluck menu (where you have no idea what you are ordering and just point at anything in the hope they will be good) isn’t always the best idea in the world and can occasionally lead to an “interesting” choice of food. In this case I had bread twice (the main would also came with Injera) which lead to me feeling rather full and not wanting pudding! The bread was nicely fried and certainly the spice warning was required – the spices brought a real sweat to my forehead.

A good few beers later (I needed them to cool the heat; honest I did!!) my main course came. A nice big sizzling pot of stew and a huge round flat bread (with extra if required). Heat was again a big feature of the dish and the stew itself was fantastically rich and tasty. I think maybe they were a bit mean on the meat but the sauce was thankfully good enough on its own for me not to feel to unhappy.

As the night went on the place started getting rather busy, there was a large group of about 10 celebrating a birthday, a family of 4 and a father and son and another group of ladies. This made the place feel nice and homely, everyone was enjoying the food, the music and, at least it seemed this way to me, eating with their hands!!

Tags food, London restaurants, Ethiopian+food , restaurant reviews, african+food