Saturday, 28 January 2012

Proof of never judge a book by it's cover...

Whenever I say I live in Brixton to anyone who is familiar with the area, they are never short of places to recommend to visit: bars, restaurants and clubs.

The truth is anyone who judges Brixton and gives the typical "oh it's a bit rough there" hasn't visited it recently or ever lived there. I could go on and rant about how Brixton is a great place to live, but this is a food blog! If you want proof, try visiting Brixton Village or the numerous gigs at the o2, Electric Brixton, Hootanannys etc...!

One restuarant in Brixton, which from the outside looks like a kebab shop/cafe, is one great example of the diversity in Brixton, and that I am shocked that after nearly a year of living here that it was my first visit! The restaurant in question is Asmara a delightful Eritrean restaurant on Coldharbour Lane.

Several people had already raved about this place, so I can't exactly say we discovered it, but I cannot big it up enough. We decided to have the platter for two, which came out on a huge plate which had four what looked like pancakes, but were actually something called Injera (yeast-risen flatbread with a spongy texture). The waiter then came out with a serving dish with several compartments and served these on top of the Injera. These consisted of a variety of meat stews (and a boiled egg!), including chicken, mince beef and tripe (I wouldn't normally... but it was chopped up finely so I could hardly tell!)

All of this you ate with your hands using torn off pieces of Injera. It was absolutely goregeous! And the waiter was so attentive, he made sure we were happy, served in a swift, speedy manner and even noticed when we were running out of Injera and brought over some more at no extra cost!

After our meal we decided to have coffee, which began with a coffee ceremony. This is a common Eritrean tradition, where the coffee beans are roasted and brought out for all of the customers to smell (amazing!). We were then presented with two small, handleless cups and a pottery jug containing the coffee with horsehair in the end to stop the coffee grounds from coming out when poured. The coffee smelt amazing, but at first the smell that first hit our senses was the burning frankincense which came out with the coffee, which is also an Eritrean tradition. The coffee was so fragrant and I could have drank more had it not been a Sunday night and I was worried that I would never be able to sleep!

Overall an amazing experience with gorgeous food, fragrant coffee and friendly, attentive service.

Yelly-fi-felly-food-belly x