Was drawn to this intriguing and homely oddball of a restaurant this week thanks to the overwhelmingly positive reviews on here.
Might I add, my choice was vindicated! This place is an honest, warm establishment, providing hearty yet flavoursome Ethiopian cuisine at rock bottom prices. So what were those negative reviewers expecting? Michelin starred offerings? Opulent surroundings? How realistic is this?! The place operates out of a top floor above a takeaway - be sensible, it is not going to be Le Gavroche, now, is it?
Now, what can you expect from Habesha? Well, the vegetable dish of Yetsom Beyeynetu was beautiful, served on a solitary Injera, with flavoursome lentil dishes, cabbage etc. Not bland at all as some have stated.
The Awaze Tibs were spicy, in an onion and tomato-based fiery sauce. Likewise, the Kitfo (minced beef) was tasty, but more delicately spiced (read bland for those who can't discern).
The experience itself was perfectly judged - the waiter, a young, friendly man, did as others have mentioned and guided us through the correct Ethiopian way to eat (with hands). It was pretty liberating just throwing an Injera like a net over your desired food and scooping it up! Yes, it was messy, but satisfying. The St George beer was refreshing, but not what you would call artisanal, but it's £2 a pop!! My wife's Ethiopian wine was a sweet red which, I am told, complemented the dishes perfectly.
Finally, the decor is colourful, inviting and charming, so much so you linger longer than you anticipate in this place. If a cheap, eye-opening and friendly experience is what you require from dinner, come. If it is not, please do not criticise something that never purported to be fine dining!!
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