This Queen of Sheba is a tiny Ethiopian eatery along Fortess Road, not to be confused with the Yemeni/Arab one of the same name on Edgware Road. Absolutely jam-packed when we were there last Friday, as it was Ramadhan and we went close to the time when Muslims (which many Ethiopians and East Africans in London are) break their fast.
We ordered a mixed meat-and-vegetable platter, enough for 2-3 persons (£45), but our ever-smiling waitress managed to somehow get it wrong, and we ended up with the vegetarian platter (£35) instead. Too bad, whilst I was acquainted with Ethiopian cuisine, one of my 2 dining companions wasn’t, and I had wanted her to try doro w’et, the chicken stew which has become synonymous with Ethiopian cuisine for most newbies, besides the sour-tasting, moist spongey pancake: the ubiquitous injera.
There were 4 hot dishes piled atop a large injera:
Kik Alich’a We’t (split yellow peas with turmeric, ginger and green chilli), Gomen (fresh spinach sautéed with onion, garlic, ginger and jalapeno ), Misir We’t (spicy red lentils stew simmered in the chef’s special hot sauce), Atkelt We’t (fresh cabbage sautéed with slices of potato and carrot) and a fresh salad. Fat rolls of extra injera are provided, and one is encouraged to dig in the communal platter using one’s hands.
The spicing of the dishes, plus the serving style, indicates Arabic influence in Ethiopia’s culinary origins. Addis Ababa’s St George lager is also available there:
The Queen of Sheba
12 Fortess Road, London NW5 2EU
Tel: 020 7284 3947
Opening hours: 6pm-11.30pm daily