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Named after Addis Ababa’s bustling main trading area, this unpretentious restaurant tries to remain loyal to its Ethiopian roots. The simple red and white interior is suffused with the aroma of incense, the walls hung with Amharic tapestries and Ethiopian portraits. It’s a venue better suited to dinner than lunch, and the food – served on traditional injera pancake – canvary in quality. Lega tibs (lamb cubes in green pepper and onion) was meltingly tender, but sweetish spices swamped the fish in assa wot (fish curry); we also felt that the ayib begomen (spinach and cottage cheese) was too salty. That said, it’s rare to find own-made tej (tangy honey wine) in London, and you can’t fault Merkato’s prices.
196 Caledonian Road
|Transport:||Tube: Kings Cross tube/rail/17, 91, 259 bus|
|Price:||Main courses £3.50-£7.80. Set meal £12-£16 per person (minimum 2). Unlicensed. Corkage no charge.|
|Opening hours:||Lunch served noon-2.30pm, dinner served 6-10.50pm daily.|
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