137 Fortress Road , London, NW5 2HR

SquareMeal Review of Lalibela

Lalibela is one of the holiest cities in Ethiopia, & while this eponymous restaurant might not be a centre of gastronomic pilgrimage, it certainly has devotees. The two-floor dining area is heady with the smell of frankincense, & has African artefacts packed into every corner. Your hands are your eating implements: ideal for tearing pieces of spongy, slightly sour injera bread & scooping up highly spiced curries packed with fish, meat or veg & served in earthenware vessels. Fresh salads add some much-needed lightness. It’s all feisty, filling stuff, great for sharing with groups of friends. The ceremonial coffee pouring is a fitting way to end meals, though that’s not the only libation offered – there are surprisingly good cocktails too. Happily, meals don’t cost much more than £20.

Lalibela Location

137 Fortress Road , London NW5 2HR

Opening times

Mon-Sun 6pm-12M

Lalibela's Reviews


Food & Drink: 10.0


Service: 1.0


Atmosphere: 5.0


Value: 5.0


Food + drink: 5

Service: 0

Atmosphere: 2

Value: 2

08 October 2009

My friend and I stepped into here curious to try it out but we were not particularly hungry, just peckish, so we only wanted to order starters. We were served by the most grumpy and disinterested waitress I have ever experienced in any restaurant. There was no greeting, no smile, no real interest, she just showed us to our table and gave us menus, then when we only wanted to order starters she looked offended and kept asking us if we were sure we only wanted starters. I even said at one point “is that a problem?” which she just completely ignored while scribbling on her little pad. Her attitude was the worst I have ever had to deal with. The drinks and food were just dumped silently in front of us and when we automatically said thank you we were met with a scowl and a sneer. The food itself was actually lovely, and the extremely unique bread was a lot of fun and very yummy! Looks like foam and smells like salt but tastes lovely! The decor is amazing, really beautiful and with a lovely atmosphere – shame that spell was broken every time Grumpy came along to our table. We're actually planning to go back soon to try out the mains because the starters were so lovely, but we're hoping that will co-incide with Grumpy's day off as neither of us are keen to have to put up with that again. Any other staff seemed to be non-existant, apart from a woman behind the bar downstairs who we paid on the way out, who seemed nice and normal. But really, if we go there again and get served with that same bad attitude then we're certainly never going back.

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