London is known as one of the more prominent cultural melting pots in the world. Some of the many benefits to sharing our city with people from all walks of life can be found within another pot…one used for cooking in our African restaurants. You don’t have to go to Timbuktu (where the f*ck is that anyway?) to get a taste of Africa. Mama A has come to you. This colourful cuisine is on the up and up and Londoners are frequenting these restaurants more of late due to the generally healthy methods of cooking and the ridiculously flavoursome results this produces. Here are five you should try in no specific order – they’re just all damn good.
Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen – Ghana
This pop up is causing African sized waves in and around Brixton. The quirky little restaurant situated in Pop Brixton may be small in size but it certainly packs a punch when it comes to its zesty meals and hospitality. They cook with traditional Ghanaian ingredients such as goat, tilapia, prawns and plantains however the meals aren’t as traditional – they’re all created with a modern day, Brixtonian twist. The food is served tapas style – order loads of small dishes and sample it all. If you Ghana go, go really big!
TaNgia – Morocco
This cosy, family run restaurant represents Morocco in all its crazy African glory. The authentic décor takes you on a trip to downtown Marrakesh, without the pain in the ass salesmen pulling on your shirt sleeve – perfect! The service is fast and friendly (the chef will always come say hello); the atmosphere is warm and, most importantly, the food is absolutely superb. Hit them up for “Tagine Tuesdays” where all tagine dishes are £9.95 and you get to wear the tagine lids as hats. Not really, but that should happen.
Wolfkite Kitfo – Ethiopia
This place serves honey wine…’nuf said, but I’ll continue. Wolkite is situated right next to the Emirates Stadium in Holloway in North London. Unlike with football though, you’re encouraged to use your hands in this place. They serve injera, a traditional Ethiopian pancake, which is served with a spicy meat or veg dishes of your choice. With your hands, you tear off some injera, use this to grab some of the filling and then pop this directly into your mouth. Very basic table manners require
Bbar – South Africa
Bbar is a perfect combination of big city sleekness and a soft African touch (i.e. there isn’t a nauseating amount of leopard print, drums and tribal masks everywhere you look). This restaurant and bar is situated near Victoria Station and is great for after work drinks and pre-theatre dining. It’s a little steeper than the others but the menu marries UK classic dishes with South African flavours extremely well so it’s worth it. Try the Cape Malay Curry or the Amarula Crème Brûlée for a Saffa taste explosion.
Khamsa – Algeria
Let me start with this: BYOB. See you there? Great. But all Algerian seriousness, this place is the dog’s bollocks. You’ll find it in bustling Brixton abiding by its mission statement which is to serve simple, delicious and high quality food at affordable prices. It totes does this and then some. The atmosphere is warm and the service is speedy. Algerian cuisine is similar to Moroccan so you can expect heaps of flavourful, slow cooked taginey type meals. They also offer a fresh mint tea which settles a full belly when you’re done. It also make cakes and confectionery to order. I mean, this place is amazing, right?!