This tiny restaurant is the perfect destination for those unacquainted with the joys of Ethiopian cuisine; the smiley, chatty staff will happily talk you through the menu and, if necessary, offer tactical advice on eating with injera, the sour, spongy pancake that comes with every meal. And you won’t be disappointed if you do know your kitfo (raw beef marinaded in spices; available in two varieties here) from your doro wat (chicken and egg stew): the food isn’t dumbed down, although the heat setting is dropped for local palates.
We loved the gomen injera (spinach and crumbly cottage cheese rolled in injera), while zilbo stew combined collard greens with tender strips of lamb and a heady mix of ginger and garlic. The lentil and cabbage stews in the vegetarian platter were slightly underwhelming – we’d have liked more of a kick – but the well-balanced use of turmeric and ginger enlivened the platter’s third component, a yellow split-pea dal.
Ethiopian trinkets, furniture and art make this an atmospheric place for a leisurely meal, and it’s great to see St George – Addis Ababa’s favourite beer – on the menu. The coffee is served authentically: slowly, ceremonially and very, very strong.