Nestled on Kingsland Road, Andu Cafe bashes out hefty portions of Ethiopian vegan food on the cheap in a friendly, no-frills setting. Inside, it’s simple: take a seat among the fairy lights, framed photos and artificial plants and you’ll be asked whether you want the traditional injera (a sour, spongy pancake) or a portion of rice, which speedily arrive alongside six dishes. They’re served up either in an adorable plastic tray with divisions – yes, a bit like at school – or, if you’re going for the injera and want to be more grown-up, you can ask for them to be presented traditionally, with the stews neatly arranged on top, for a bit extra. For a huge sampler plate, it’s only £7 per person or £12 for two, plus it’s BYO.
It’s all about the beans, greens and lentils here, which are pimped out with plenty of garlic, ginger and turmeric. Standouts included the misir wot – a comforting stew of spicy red lentils with minced garlic – and the tikil gomen, an aromatic mix of chopped cabbage, potatoes and onion. It’s not game-changing stuff, no, and the menu is pretty simple (there are no desserts or sides), but it’s good quality and delicious. Andu Cafe is a charming, cheap and cheerful place, and one that has clearly nuzzled its way into the hearts of hip young locals.