DISCLAIMER – aware the images are bad!
216-218 Camberwell Rd, London SE5 0ED
020 7701 8587
The visit to The Zeret Kitchen was a spontaneous one (a decision made after an afternoon spent at The Sun in Camberwell with plenty of red wine and ale consumed) but as it is considered a bus ride away we can thankfully blog about it. Bus of choice is the 35 by the way.
This traditional Ethiopian eatery is tucked away at the front of an estate, next to some very unassuming looking off licenses and launderettes – but it is such a treat. The décor inside isn’t anything to shout about either but it isn’t trying to be anything trendy or modern – it’s a traditional family run restaurant with a basic Ethiopian twist. Mid-sized, there are a variety of big and small tables, so is perfect for an intimate dinner or a large raucous affair too.
Vegetarian, fish and meat are on the menu – all served on a sour dough pancake, and eaten with your hands. So prepare to get your hands dirty! You can order each dish separately or you can make it easier for everyrone and just go for one of the combo’s. we went for the house Special – Zeret Surprise (combo of kitfo – finely chopped beef, lega tibs – tender land, yebeg fitfit – lamb stew, spiced chicken-tibs – chicken with rosemary and onions, atkilt, shuro and salad.) Unsure on what atkilt and shuro is now…
We also ordered some kategna to start, freshly baked spicy bread with sauce. Not only was the bread delicious with the perfect hint of spice, it was necessary to stave away our hunger. The service here is attentive but very slow. Don’t expect your meal to be over quickly, this place is very relaxed.
Our Zeret surprise was massive. There were five of us so we had one large and one small to share and it was more than enough. Using the pancake as your utensil each dish should be scooped up and mopped up with it. The meats were all cooked perfectly and unbelievable flavoursome. The sharing nature of the dish makes it a brilliant talking point and brings the whole meal together.
We finished off the meal with the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony (which again took a while to arrive, although this was because the beans needed to be roasted which they very proudly came out to show us). The coffee was served alongside some freshly baked popcorn which we annihilated even after going into a bit of a food coma after our main. The coffee was beautiful, fresh and strong and perfect served black which is the only way to have it in my opinion.
We washed the whole meal down with a couple of Ethiopian beers, Castel and St Georges, and a bottle of red (which was priced a bit too high compared to the quality of it).
Price came to 20 quid each which considering the amount of food we consumed wasn’t too bad.