The cuisine of Eritrea is influenced by its proximity to and historic links with Ethiopia, Sudan, Arabia and Italy. Religion has also played its part, with meat-free fasting observed by Coptic Christians resulting in striking vegetarian and vegan dishes.
The basis of an Eritrean meal is injera, a crepe-like bread made from the taf (or teff) grain grown in the highlands of Eritrea and Ethiopia.
Our starters featured injera rolls (filled with spinach and red lentils) accompanied by sambosas and felafel (no, not a typo, that’s how they spell it at Mosob). They are all incredibly tasty and just a teaser of what was yet to come.
Injera is used as a base on which the food is served, and it is also used to pick up your food (which is why you need friends with clean hands!).
We were given a demonstration on how to scoop up the food with the injera that is rolled up and provided instead of cutlery.
We gorged on lamb, beef, and chicken whilst the veggies indulged in a selection of cabbage, okra, green and red lentils, and spinach.
After a feast of that magnitude, the pots of spiced tea were a welcome digestive.
The coffee was served with popcorn (which we quickly devoured) and frankincense (which we did not).
Horse hair is traditionally used as a filter in the coffee pot, but here in Britain they use the mesh of onion bags instead.
Whilst we sipped on coffee, one of the sons that runs the restaurant quizzed us with geographical trivia (I won’t tell you the questions because then you’ll know all the answers when you go). This quizzing is a tradition in their home. When they were growing up, the mother would ask the kids difficult questions to keep them occupied while she cooked (it certainly kept everyone in our group pretty busy).
At the end of the meal, each of our names were spelled out in the local language as a souvenir for us to take home.
Mosob was actually the place were the Around the World tradition started two years ago. It was a delight to return and re-indulge in one of the most AWE-some restaurants in London. I recommend you go with a big group of friends, preferably ones with clean hands!