Wednesday, September 17, 2008

No starving in this Ethernopia

I can hardly think of an Ethiopian restaurant without at least briefly thinking of Billy Crystal's joke in "When Harry Met Sally": "I took her for dinner in an Ethiopian restaurant. I said to her, 'This will be quick; they'll give us two empty plates and we can go home.'"

Fortunately, Kokob is here to prove him wrong.

Last night we finally made it there. I say 'finally' because we had already tried to get in - mid-week - and were told that reservations were absolutely necessary. So this time we called ahead, albeit at 2pm, and got a table at 8.

Past the first hurdle, it was now time for the explanation of the menu. I've eaten Ethiopian food before and I enjoy it both because of the how it is prepared and of course the variety of vegetarian options. Kokob did not disappoint. Their menu folds in two ways - one offering their meat options, the other offering the vegetarian options. A 50/50 split? Not bad.

Gidon and I took a menu, which was plenty filling. Ethiopian food is served on a sour crepe called 'injera', and although Kokob's were not as sour as I remembered, they were very spongy and didn't overpower the rest of the flavors. Those flavors included Shiro Wot, a delicious spicy dish made of pea flour and shallots (I'll be going back for that one); Carrot ena Fa solia wot, which was basically cooked carrots and green beans - not a terribly special addition, particularly as the veg was well cooked and I personally prefer them closer to raw; and Key sir ena denich wot, also known as potatos and beets - simply and nicely prepared. The menu includes one side dish, for which we took spiced fried potato wedges. Yum. You eat it all up with injera using your fingers. When I saw how soupy the Shiro Wot was, I wondered how that would ever possibly work but a remarkably small amount of dinner ended up on the table instead of in our mouths.

We were also given a lot of free stuff: free aperitifs upon arrival; a cereal-based amuse-bouche; scrumptious cold green lentils as a side dish, along with a simple green salad. We finished the meal with an espresso for Gidon (par for the course) and a hot milk with cinnamon and honey for me - a very pleasant end to a fine meal.

Rue des Grands Carmes, 10
1000 Bruxelles
Tel. 02 511 1950
Open every day - check website for times
Reservations necessary

1 comment:

Jovanka said...

I'm glad to have read this! I've always been curious about Ethiopian food but sort of shied away from it because I thought it was supposed to be "meaty". I'll definitely check this place out the next time I'm in Brussels!