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March 2020: West Norfolk

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Restaurants in Islington

Zigni House
330 Essex Rd

N1 3PB | View map

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The chef and owner of Zigni House, Tsige Haile, is revered in her native Eritrea as the author of the first Eritrean and Ethiopian cookbooks. Here she presides over the kitchen of a vibrant East African restaurant and bar that is a place of pilgrimage for those who love this cuisine. The decor is a blending of authentic Eritrean and modern London, with imported, authentic art objects. There's a bar/lounge where you can enjoy a drink before your meal, then the dining room is a space of two halves, the smart restaurant area and the slightly secluded, proper family area with its circular seating and more intimate ambience. Many people pass by the a la carte menu in favour of the superb buffet, which features a variety of stews, zigni are the spicy ones, alichi the milder ones, of various ingredients, as well as the injera, a sort of pancake that complements the stews. Authentic salads, yoghurts, and sautes are here too. You won't want to miss the Eritrean beer or the traditional coffee ceremony, where beans are roasted, ground, and boiled before your eyes. You'll want to linger.

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