Adulis is an Eritrean Restaurant located in Oval just on the outskirts of Brixton in London’s South East.
I have been to Adulis before, with my sister. In fact the first time we visited was in May 2015. We had an amazing experience that day and we had hoped that our second experience would not only replicate the first but would be even better.
Enter the sisters!
Having been there a couple of times in addition to the fact my sister knows the Eritrean food scene from her Atlanta days, I thought rather than just recount what we ate, I would give you a guide of what you should order at an Eritrean restaurant, at least the first time you go.
Have some honey wine
Having been there before, we were looking forward to a real treat. I think we definitely got it right the first time round. We ordered Adulis Mies, the in-house honey wine which is a must try for anyone eating out in an Eritrean (or Ethiopian, mind you) restaurant for the first time. I have also had a look at the rest of the wine list at Adulis and I must say I am quite impressed with their offering, more so the fact that most of their wines are South African (I mean, I am all about the African food and wine in this space… but I do love alll foods).
Order the vegetarian, meat or mixed meat/veg kirchat
We ordered the exact same meal items as we did the first time we went. The only difference here was the type of service we got from the waiter. I definitely liked the waiter we had first time around. We wanted to try the meat and vegetable dish, called a kirchat, for two. This is what I would highly recommend for newbies as it really is a taster dish, you will get a range of vegetable and meat dishes served on to of injera, the massive soured pancakes ubiquitous with Eritrean and Ethiopian food.
You MUST try kitfo (if you eat beef)
My dear sister, being the seasoned Eritrean food gastronomer told me that I just had to order kitfo, a sort of minced beef tartar with loads of herbs, butter and paprika.
But what did the waiters do differently?
When we expressed our desire for kitfo to the waiter, first time around, the waiter had a chat with the chef and substituted one of the toppings from our kirchat with kitfo. So we had the best of both worlds. Second time around we had a different waiter (sadly). He not only told us outright that this is NEVER done, he also did not bother to take our order of kitfo because he just could not understand how much we wanted it despite the fact that we would have to order it as a separate addition. He eventually got the message and our kitfo came. Kitfo is to die for, it is almost the only thing you should not leave without tasting, absolutely delicious.
The experience as a whole is quite fantastic and the restaurant has a nice atmosphere. The service is good and the food comes out quicker that expected. The food is great and as I mentioned before, making an order where you can taste a little bit of everything is the way to go. You will definitely get a little taste of Africa going to Adulis.
You can visit their website here to check out their menu or make reservations.