We love exotic foods: There is nothing better than a good portion of (Korean) Bibimbap or a hearty curry. However, we haven’t had that much experience with African food. Of course we have eaten quite a few tajines – we even have a tajine at home – but the Ethiopian kitchen was unknown to us until we booked a table at Kokob in the city centre (Rue des grands carmes 10).
Our first time was on a special occasion so we planned to pig out. We already had looked at the menu at home and had decided not to go for one dish each, but to go for a set Menu/Formule: 3 Meat dishes, 3 Veg dishes + aperitif, Wine and Water for 32 Euro. There are bigger menus still, including tea or coffee and a dessert. (You probably won’t need it!!)
We had reserved a table and mentioned it was a special occasion. The staff picked a lovely table by the window. We were greeted warmheartedly, not always a standard in Brussels.
About the food: The waitress presented a large round tray with a rolled out Ethiopian pancake in the middle, called Injera. In addition to this there were lots of little pots with stew-type dishes: lentils, beef, chicken, spinach, stewed tomatoes etc.
The ingredients in the dishes remind a lot of Indian food, however, the seasoning is completely different. There was no cutlery, only a basket with even more pancakes. (At first glance they look a bit like rolled up flannels!) The waitress talked to us about Ethiopian traditions and explained how to eat the food: Basically, you spoon the food onto the big pancake and then you use another pancake to scoop it up. It really was a very out of the ordinary experience. And so much fun! Obviously it will happen that you touch the food on the big platter with your fingers. So I really only would want to eat this way with somebody I like. (There were big groups in the restaurant, too. Personally I wouldn’t like to dig around in my food with a couple of mere acquaintances!)
We ran out of pancakes and it was no problem to have a second round. The staff also took care of our special wishes. As we had seen that there is Ayeb, a kind of white cheese on the menu, we asked if we could leave it. They brought us more of the other dishes instead.
This restaurant may be one of my favourite in Brussels. I know that we will be back there again – hopefully soon.
Kokob, Rue des Grands Carmes 10, Brussels // Website