Having been on a business trip went out for dinner having Indian food in mind. There are plenty of Indian restaurants in that street, one of which I had visited during a previous trip. Then I saw this African Gallery Kitchen restaurant. I am very open to new food experiences, changed mind and hopped in. My first impression: What a nice little cosy place. Many african scultpures are hanging on the wall, just 4 small bistro type tables, two tables were taken with 5 guests. And someone working in the back in the kitchen/counter area. It later turned out to be the only staff and owner of the place.
I ordered "Lamb with Dates", spicy rice and a glass of red wine. It turned out that the food was pre-cooked and just heated up in the open kitchen. Did it bother me? No. Is the owner hiding it? No. (Note: It is standard practice in many restaurants and called 'convenience food'. There it is hidden in the kitchen, here it is open and visible.) Some food actually tastes so much better when it had time to rest a day so that the ingredients can 'melt together'.
Anyhow, what counts to me is the taste, not the way it was prepared. And I must say the taste was delicious. Just extraordinary. The spices, the tenderness of the meat, I was so close to licking off the plate. I finished the meal with a tea and, based on the owner's recommendation, chose cardamom flavoured tea. This was the icing on the cake regarding my taste experience. The tea was served with 3 homemade balls of coconut-mango-beetroot(!). These subtle flavours, just great, a perfect mix.
I had the chance to have a personal talk with the owner, an interesting man and worth talking to. He really cares for his guests. I enjoyed the evening at his place. I had the feeling to be invited at his home sharing the food he had prepared for himself for dinner. Very nice when being on a business trip after a hectic day. The complete package worth every pence.
During previous trips I ate very much worse for more money in London and in lousy atmospheres. Compared to the Indian places next door it is not expensive at all. If you want freshly cooked and cheap food you better go to one of these burger food chains. Non-tastiness and and atmoshere to make you leave fast is even included at no cost.
At my next trip I will certainly pass by again.
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