When AFB was originally conceived – if that is indeed the correct verb for what amounted to a two minute drunken conversation at an open-mic poetry gig – it was decreed that we would review those comestibles from which other po-faced, Instagram-worshipping, kale-munching food blogs flinched. We would be all about the Snickers, the Ginster’s, the 2-for-1 frozen pizzas. Given this, it is rare for AFB to review a restaurant. This is an unpaid gig after all. We can’t just rock up at some trendy hellhole with hay bales as chairs and drinks in jars and stick it on expenses. Suffice to say, reviewing an Ethiopian restaurant in Tufnell Park was not in our original script (which, incidentally, was jotted down on the back of a napkin, and will no doubt emerge for sale in the tens of millions on Ebay in years to come).
Well, to hell with the script. The thing about AFB, in case you don’t know by now, is this: WE BLOG WHAT WE WANT! WE BLOG WHAT WE WA-A-ANT! WE’RE AVERAGE FOOD BLOG, WE BLOG WHAT WE WANT!
It is a central tenet of AFB that we give credit where it is due. Granted, eating fragrantly spiced food off a gigantic bread pancake, foregoing cutlery and using said bread to pick up the food, in a room bedecked with Ethiopian trinkets, is not exactly average (unless, I hasten to add, you are in Ethiopia), but, my friends, we will not baulk at it. We are not baulkers. Baulking shall not ensue.
And the fact is as follows. Lalibela is a wonderful restaurant. It is great for veggies (of which I am one), and dishes are served off gigantic pieces of spongy, slightly sour bread called injera which massively complements the food. (‘Complements’ with an ‘e’, not an ‘i’; it doesn’t sit around going “ooh, shiro beyeynetu, you are looking most delicious tonight!”) Food is eaten communally, with all the dishes plonked in the middle of the table. The staff are all extremely friendly, the Ethiopian beer is great, and if you eat on the top floor you’ll get a fantastic view out over the wild streets of Tufnell Park. Sainsbury’s is a real highlight.
Go to Lalibela. Trust. Just a word of warning though: should you go, and get a hankering to go again, do not announce “I could murder an Ethiopian” loudly on public transport. You will get some awkward looks.