The Blue Nile Cafe Woolwich Review

After the hype of a decent exciting restaurant coming to Woolwich, I needed to investigate for myself. 'The Blue Nile is a family run Eritrean - Italian cafĂ© and restaurant, harking back to Eritrea’s colonial history. ' We visited in the evening on a Thursday and was lucky to get a seat with plenty of bookings being made.The decor is more fitting with a casual cafe scenario with quirky ornaments and photos around the room creating a wonderfully relaxed environment.

 
The friendly staff guided us through the menu and suggested the Bebianyetu set menu which consists of two of the meat dishes and three of the vegetable, all served with injera.
For the meat dishes, we chose the beef Zigni, a lively spiced stew and a delicious Chicken Kilwa, a warm chicken stew with onion, tomatoes and garlic sauteed in a pepper sauce.

The first vegetable dish we chose the Hamli, spinach cooked with garlic and olive oil. I liked this but I thought there was a little too much and was quite dry. We also chose Shiro, a thick chickpea stew which was midly spicy and more the texture of a smooth paste. I preferred this when it was mixed with some of the meat stews. And finally we had my ultimate favourite, Tumtumo, lentils cooked with traditional spices. There was a lovely rich deep flavour with this that I could have just eaten bowls of.

All of this came served with Injera, which is a traditional style sour bubbly pancake. I first tried this before the other dishes came to the table and was a little taken aback by the sourness, but topped with the stews it was delicious.


The food is traditional eaten by putting little bits in the middle of the pancake and ripping off pieces from the outside and dipping. It's messy but fun, and the cafe have extra sinks ready to clean up those messy fingers.
By the end  of the meal we were lovely and full, as the friendly staff kept circling and encouraging us to clean the bowls with extra injera (at no extra cost) so would be happy to have the set meal for two people again.
Whilst eating in the retaurant you do forget where you are and the relaxed atmosphere is something more akin to somewhere in the middle of London. It is definitely a gem and a place worth a visit. Due to the increasing popularity of the place, I would suggest booking beforehand to ensure you have a seat, but it will be worth it for both the flavours and the experience.

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