The Dopey Vegan Review
Reviewed by Phoebe
I walk down Dalston high street almost every day. It is perpetually busy, any time day or night. Particularly Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays when throngs of people invade the streets, and you have to fight your way to Tesco for almond milk to put in a cup of tea. There are plenty of new hipstery places for vegans to eat in Dalston now, they thrive off the people that delay my tea drinking. Sometimes I love this, I love treating myself to the newest hip food. But a little past Dalston Junction, where the street is less busy and you will find a different kind of Vegan eatery. Andu Cafe is a small Ethiopian cafe serving either a single or sharing platter and low and behold its vegan. As soon as you walk into the cafe, you call tell this place is authentic, you aren't going to find Andu cafes popping up as a mega chain any time soon. The walls depict scenes of some of Ethiopia's amazing scenery, as thought straight out of a travel brochure. At the back a women cooks Ethiopian flat bread, Injera, on a small stove and calor gas.
I had never eaten Ethiopian food before and was so excited to try it. You can bring your own bottle, which we duly did, and we ordered the sharing platter for two, which is actually six dishes. At £12 and the BYOB this place is perfect for when you are on a budget, as I literally always am, (forever broke). The platter consists of Gomen; steamed collard greens with garlic and traditional spices, Yemisir Wot; zesty lentil splits cooked in berbere sauce, a traditional Ethiopian spicy sauce, Tikil Gomen; spiced cabbage, potatoes and onions cooked in a mild sauce, Ater Kik; Split peas simmered in a herb and turmeric sauce and Shiro wot; milled split peas cooked with spices, garlic, tomatoes and onions. This is all served with either rice or inerja. Inerja has a springy pancake like consistency and is perfect from mopping up all the spicy sauces on this dish. The platter itself is a beautiful balance of spice and tang. The flavours in each mouthful take you down a culinary journey, maybe familiar to others, but completely unexpected and exciting to me.
RMG Review of Andu Cafe
Randomness Guide to London - Revieved by Kake
The menu photo is very simple, consisting of six vegan dishes served together as a "sampler" platter; the main choice is whether you'd like them served with injera or rice. If you choose injera, you also get the choice of having the dishes in a metal tray with injera on the side (the default) or on top of the injera. They don't serve alcohol, but are happy for you to BYO.
Kake visited on a Tuesday early evening in August 2016. There were three or four people in when I arrived just before 6pm, and it wasn't clear whether they were customers, staff, or friends of the owner, as they were sitting at the very back and weren't eating. Two definite customers arrived while I was there though.
I had the sampler platter for one, served on injera (£7 total) photo. Gomen (chopped collard greens with garlic) was very tasty, cooked with a few softened onions to add interest, and just the right texture. Ater kik (split peas with tumeric) was also cooked just right, with a firm bite to the split peas but no chalkiness. Green beans and carrots were similarly well-judged in terms of cooking time. Shiro wot (stew made from ground chickpeas) had a nicely smooth texture and an interesting flavour I've not encountered in this dish before, somewhat reminiscent of red palm oil. The injera itself was probably the sourest I've had in London, and darker than average too.
Kake's verdict: I'd happily come back if I was in the area and wanted a quick meal, or if I was craving some properly sour injera.
Visited By Kake
The Alt Entertainment Review of Andu Cafe
The Alt Entertainer / February 29, 2016 Photography & Words by N.O.W.
Andu is a perfect example of the saying, ‘you should never judge a book by its cover’. With remnants of the former internet café it used to be, a whiteboard for prices, the mix and match of different fonts on the exterior, Andu Café it seems is waiting patiently to be recognised for what lies beneath.
The menu is simple, effective and more importantly affordable.
For £7 a single diner can have a platter ominously called ‘The Sampler’ provides much more than the name suggests Once laced with any of the colourful dipping and spoon-able components like the ‘Shiro Wot’, split peas stewed with tomatoes, onions, spices, garlic and olive oil. My multiple award winning combinations started with a spooning of ‘Shiro Wot’ onto a reasonable piece injera and then topped with any of the other sides.
Call it the hot sauce of the platter if you will.
Pleasantly surprised and thankful that the string beans with chopped carrots, tomatoes, onions and garlic, also known as ‘Fesolia’, was al dente finish with not one pea overcooked.
Another highly recommended piece of ‘The Sampler’ was the spiced cabbage, potato and onion drizzled in a mild sauce. At first appearance it seems there is no sauce at all but at first bite the palette is introduced to a herby taste that compliments the spice of the cabbage.
Andu Café has been open for 8 months. In my time spent devouring the platter I found passers-by to be entertaining. One woman passed, retracted her steps backward to the front of the café, disappeared then finally made her cameo inside. Be like this woman and avoid letting an opportunity to immerse and introduce your taste buds to a taste of Ethiopian vegan cuisine at a decent cost.
Leafcard Review of Andu Cafe
Ethiopian flavours that brighten up the streets of London
Ethiopian food is a difficult beast to track down in the city of London, fully Vegan Ethiopian food even more so, but Andu Cafe focuses on this entirely, and pull it off perfectly. Just a few doors down from the Arcola theatre and situated in the heart of up-and-coming Dalston, this culinary oasis is just waiting to tempt you in.
Andu specialises in the creation in the creation of huge vegan Ethiopian platters accompanied with the signature Injera flat bread, a large pancake like flat bread that often serves in the stead of a plate, so that everything is edible! Many of their regulars talk of how the food is so healthy and filling that they have to take extras home with them.
Ethiopian flavours that brighten up the streets of London
Situated in the heart of trendy Dalston, Andu Cafe focuses on creating a local and hole-in-the-wall based vibe, which it achieves in the utmost, the sight of servers asking if anyone wants seconds is a welcomed regular occurrence.
So if you’re waiting for a play, or a show at one of the many Dalston venues, or even just taking a sunny lunchtime walk, be sure to keep Andu Cafe on your radar and your Leafcard in your pocket.
FAT GAY VEGAN
100% Vegan Ethiopian Café in London
I don’t know how this escaped my attention, but I just found out today that London has its very own vegan Ethiopian restaurant! Located in Dalston (also home to the incredible FED by waterwhich ), Andu Cafe has gone to the top of my list of places to visit when I get back to London in July.
Serving up traditional Ethiopian fayre including the delicious teff pancake injera, people are raving about the place on social media.