Well, who knew! Ethiopia is, I discover, 'one of the most vegan-friendly cuisines in the world'. And Fortess Road, near my NW5 home in north London, now has a newly opened vegan Ethiopian cafe, Engocha, just a few doors down from Tufnell Park's long-running and distinctly non-vegan Lalibela.
I popped in this lunchtime with my daughter - we were both well impressed. That's me with the house special among the hot drinks: turmeric and coconut milk. They have, of course, Ethiopian coffees, including a latte with coconut milk. Not bad!
The food is tasty and excellent value - for £4.99 you can have your choice of three 'wots', that's lentil or vegetable stews, with either rice or injera, the wonderful sour and unleavened Ethiopian bread. I'm not vegan but I'll definitely be going back.
Engocha used to be a small, and not all that welcoming, Ethiopian food store - selling freshly-made injera (I was told they've been baking injera here for twenty years) and a small selection of meats and similar. Well, the meats have gone - the space has been opened up - and its friendly and welcoming, with good service as well as tasty food. And they do take away too!
And what does 'Engocha' mean? It is - I learn - a small piece of bread the size of a biscuit particularly connected with Ethiopian Jewish cuisine and baked mainly for children, who dip it in honey.
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