Once famed for its ramshackle quirkiness and working men’s café aesthetic, the Red Sea is now a relatively smart cookie complete with a chequered black-and-white tiled floor, chairs covered in white linen and yellow walls emblazoned with ethnic artefacts and tapestries. The look may have changed, but this Shepherd’s Bush joint still woos locals with a wilfully eccentric menu of Eritrean, Ethiopian, Somali and Yemeni cuisine – plus the odd plate of spag bol or chicken curry.
Signature dishes include burem (literally ‘boiled meat’), steamed lamb mandi and grilled sea bass (blackened, splayed open and served with a pile of rice of salad), but also note the various ‘fata’ breads served with dates or banana, cream and honey. Sides include chips as well as floppy injera, while kids are offered chicken nuggets or fish fingers. Unlicensed, but you can BYO for a nominal £1 corkage.