I managed to make it to Muna's for some Eritrean/Sudanese/Ethiopian food before walking over to Alexandra Palace for fireworks and such. It was an excellent detour! I had been meaning to go to Muna's since I was recommended it around 6 months ago (actually, probably more like 9 months) on one of my first UK Chow posts. I can't even remember who mentioned it, but thanks (I just kept it at the back of my mind until I was going to the area.)
The interior is cozy (though my companions were apparently freezing. I was really warm.) The scent of frankincense and myrrh dominated about 99% of what you smell during your time in the place and the interior is pretty nice all around (lots of stuff from the country, lanterns from Ikea, etc.) Muna herself is incredible and was friendly from the second we entered. We had an interesting chat about "chip children" after enthusiastically telling her that we'd eat anything (she knocked on wood when we said that.) She lamented customers that come in with kids and ask if she could make chips for them and stuff like that (someone was clearly traumatized from an incident earlier in the week.)
Ok food! We ordered three items (one per person) at 9 quid each and we all had it with injira. We ate traditionally off of one massive injira with our right hands and we were even given more injira on the side in case the small country sized piece we started with wasn't enough (there was not a scrap left when we got up.) Sooo we had the vegetable selection which consisted of hamli, alisha, and ados abryppa. (sp?) Basically one was a mixed veg with stewed potatoes, peas, corn, etc while the other two were more specific; a cooked down spinach redolent of ginger and strongly reminiscent of Indian saag and firm lentils which were nicely spiced and in a thick tomatoey gravy/paste/thick substance.
Our meat dishes consisted of the zigni dorho (from the chef's specials) and the tabikha moloukhia. The former was chicken stewed in a nicely spiced gravy. It was marked as hot, but none of us found it to be particularly fiery (bearing in mind we consisted of a chili fiend, a Gujarati, and a West Indian.) The chicken itself was very tasty, tender, and yet it maintained that sort of flavor that smaller gamier chickens tend to have. It didn't just taste like chicken. It was really good (I'm kind of from the "chicken is what you order if you don't know what you want to eat" school of thought, excluding Dominican restaurants.)
The tabikhla moloukhia is lamb stewed in very green sauce made up of an Eritrean leaf similar to spinach. The taste itself was unique and the texture had the sliminess of okra, though not at all in a negative way. Muna seemed somewhat nervous about us ordering this and explained the texture in advance, but it was incredibly delicious. It was almost medicinal (in a good way and in its sheer herbiness) and was similar to a Senegalese sauce verde or some of the sort. It complemented the injira perfectly, the sauce was delicious, and all in all it was probably my favorite dish as far as taste was concerned. My only problem with this dish (and the whole meal) was that there was so little lamb in it. A few tiny chunks were all that could be found, one piece with bone attached and some bits here and there.
All in all an excellent meal and a reason to return.
by Maryse Chevriere | Food is a major part of my life. I’m more on top of dining and restaurant news than world news. My...
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