About Menelik Ethiopian Restaurant in London
Ethiopian cooking is labour intensive, but this effort results in amazing complex flavours which use pounds of butter and onions plus many spices. I love the exciting flavours of this cuisine!
We are especially fond of Ethiopian food, but rarely cook it at home as it easily takes all day for 4 cooks to prepare a fitting meal. Instead we have some favourite Ethiopian restaurants where we delight in the unique flavours of the dishes eaten with injera-that amazing sourdough type bread made of Teff flour.
Ethiopian restaurants are easy on the budget. Here is an example: Where else can you arrive with 6 people, be treated like best friends, get served amazingly delicious and interesting food, hear great live music, drink yourself under the table and pay £40/$85 for everyone.
I'm not even sure I should be sharing this wonderful news because it might spoil it.
Newly decorated upstairs restaurant section with low tables and carved wooden seats also normal seating available. secret bar downstairs, very cosy, lined with seating but space to dance in the middle when things kick off at about 4 am.
How it comes
Ethiopian food is really interesting. You get this massive plate of 'injera' bread, like a kind of sourdough pancake, but huge. Then if you order well, you get a series of spicy, meaty and incredably flavoursome curries which are tipped over the bread. Eat with your right hand (and wash it first!). Probably best to go with people who aren't big fat pigs because they'll munch it all before you get a chance.
What to order
Every time I've been I've ordered this, or a combination. The only time I deviated I got a big plate of raw beef, so be warned.
Doro-Wat - A pieces of chicken in a rich runny curry sauce with a boiled egg. Very nice and drippy. Not hot.
Derek Tibs - dried cubes of lamb, baked with chile. Hot if you eat the chile. Absolutely delicious.
Ye-Tsome-Beye-Aynetu - A selection of hot and cold salads. Red lentil paste, Green lentil paste (both delicious), A gorgeous bean salad and some other stuff. A large dish and nice on it's own if you're a veggie.
Spinach salad too.
Ricotta type cheese and Spinach - good if you're not ordering Ye-Tsome-Beye but want something to break up the meat.
Ethiopian Coffee - you get this incredible ceremony where they roast the beans and shake them under your noses.
Honey Wine - sometimes you can get this amazing home-brewed honey wine (free... it's not exactly legit) but you have to engratiate yourself I suppose. In any case, it's delicious in small amounts. For us it is too sweet.
On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays there's live music. The place is totally quiet until about 2am when it *really* kicks off. There's this guy who plays the double decker synth and does some amazing cheezy classics (the entire repertoir of Lionel Ritchie for example) and then later on starts doing this mad Ethiopian synth-pop. Then there's usually a brilliant singer who scats over the top in Amharic. Not to be missed. You may need to learn this kind of shoulder popping dance... difficult to describe but it's kind of like chickens sizing up to each other for a peck fight. You'll see.
Equidistant on Caledonian Road between Kings X and Caledonian Road station. 5 mins from either. On the left if you're coming from Kings X, on the right if you're coming from Cally Rd. station. It's got a big green illuminated sign.