Gojo Ethiopian Restaurant, Ladbroke Grove, London

After watching the serene Ethiopian runner, Tiki Gelana, win the Women's Marathon in the Olympics, (albeit on a TV screen in a restaurant in Paris), I was suddenly reminded of Gojo, an Ethiopian restaurant right next door to London's Ladbroke Grove tube station. My wife and I had been for dinner once at Gojo, a few years back and been intrigued by the Injera bread on which our vegetarian dishes were served and also by the lovely Ethiopian coffee ceremony with which we finished dinner. We also had a lot of fun when we realised the restaurant does not provide cutlery and expects you to eat with your fingers. You get really messy...and it's nice to interact with your food. 

Some while later, we went back for dinner, this time accompanied by our young daughter and my wife's parents and we had a great evening, all enjoying eating with our fingers, the soaring Ethiopian music that the restaurant pumps non-stop, the lovely, colourful weaved dish-warmers that every dish comes out hidden beneath and of course, everybody - except our daughter obviously - loved the Ethiopian coffee ceremony.
So anyway, after cheering Gelana to her victory (I'd recently seen and loved the film Town Of Runners), I made a mental note that once back in London, I'd take my daughter to Gojo for lunch since she had lots of questions about Ethiopia and didn't remember ever going there for dinner. And so, keeping to my word, off we went the other day.
This time, we had the restaurant to ourselves. You go down some steps and the restaurant's in a dimly lit basement. The staff on this occasion were two lovely women (one cooking, one serving). The woman serving recommended we ditch our initial plan to get two vegetarian dishes (£4 each) and instead get the five dish vegetarian sampler (£8: some dishes cold, some warm). This came out presented on a gigantic Injera bread (served cold). My daughter loved eating with her fingers and was far better at it than I am (altogether now: isn't it amazing how adaptable kids are). Although very good, we barely got halfway through before having to give up and request a doggy bag to take home. 

Sadly, on this occasion, there was a problem which meant no coffee was available, so our lunch stopped there. If you fancy trying out a lunch or dinner where you get to try amazing, very reasonably priced Ethiopian food (there's a meat/ fish menu and a vegetarian menu: most dishes are around £4; the coffee ceremony is £10) and don't mind eating with your fingers (if you're the clumsy sort as I am: don't wear a white shirt or your favourite dress, obviously) then here's the lowdown: Gojo, 171 Ladbroke Grove, London W10 6HJ. Tel: 0208. 964. 0431 


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