12 Fortess Road
020 7284 3947
The Victims: Al, Louise
The Damage: £30 each
The Background: No, I didn't eat Ethiopian food two nights in a row. Actually , it was about two weeks apart. See, in the middle there, something happened.
My rent went up. A lot.
But I did a cost/benefit analysis and it makes much more sense for me to stay where I am than to pay to move somewhere else (I have a lot of stuff) and then have to pay for all the incidentals that moving in can cause.
So I decided to cut back on going out to eat. We'll see how long that lasts. But by my estimates, I probably saved £120 over a two week period.
Anyhow, it was back up to Fortess (Not Fortress–thanks ChrisC) Road for dinner with Al & Louise at the Queen of Sheba.
The Entrance: It's small and cute and cozy. It's a bit more upmarket almost than Lalibela across the street. This is more definitely a date place.
The Service: Is smart and friendly and informative. The only downer was the LOOONNNGGG wait for the Ethiopian coffee ceremony. I nearly fell asleep at the table. But it was SO worth it. More in a bit.
The Food: More injera. More chicken with hard boiled egg. Those were both winners. The spinach was not so great. It was really bland. Because we ordered one of those "combo" platters instead of ordering dishes individually, I'm not entirely sure what else we had! I am sure there were chickpeas in there somewhere.
That being said, on a comparative basis, I liked the food at Lalibela better.
The Coffee Ceremony: They came to our table with a platter of roasting coffee beans. Like live roasting. They shook them up in front of us, which smelled absolutely fantastic. Then they brought back a pot of coffee about 20 minutes later which was really great. And it was like a bottomless pot. I must have had four cups, sitting there. Which was good, because between the white wine earlier in the day (barbecue in Essex) and the beer with dinner, I was dragging. Oh yes, and there was more frankincense!
The Verdict: Food was better at Lalibela, but the Queen of Sheba has its own appeal. The shaper service and the intimate atmosphere make it a nice choice.