While Vittorio Silvestro works the floor, chef Rahel Ogbaghiorghi does her thing in the kitchen, creating slow food from the horn of Africa. A communal feel sweeps the room, the decor is African hut-like with straw walls and indigenous artefacts adorn nooks, shelves and wall space. The scent of roasting spices, baking injera bread and the African soundtrack further establish the scene.
Goat is a slow-cooked success; there’s Asa Kulwha (Nile perch fillet cubed with spiced ghee, berbere, fresh tomatoes and green chilli); even kangaroo slips onto the menu. Fresh and spicy food matter litters the menu board with a full range of vegetarian options, including Tumtummo lentils and Shiro (finely ground spiced chickpeas). Eating with your hands or with pieces of injera bread (customary African style) is highly recommended.
Although the restaurant only seats around 40 or so and is situated on a zippy main road, neither of these aspects detract from its charm. There’s just something so liberating about squatting in an intimate space and eating with your hands that you disregard potential negatives. You can lose yourself in the earthy delights of Ethiopia and Eritrea at The Abyssinian in Kensington every night of the week ... except Sundays.
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