Once upon a time there was an Ethiopian engineer, his Belgian - Moroccan friend and a Belgian partner who decided to open an Ethiopian restaurant in the centre of Brussels. That was 2 years ago.
Since then, this lively, colourful, original, and trendy place, which has wisely enough avoided the (too easy) temptation to open an ethnic appealing place with plenty of masks and arrows of invented tribes on the walls, is always full with a clientele in their late 20's and above ready to have fun and to discover a world of exciting tastes and flavours while entering in the sensuality of the black continent.
Kokob, which translates as 'raising star' in Ethiopian, is a true star in the current Brussels' resto scene, an absolutely must go even for those who may be a bit reluctant to taste unknown African food or eating with... the hands !
If this is the first time you go to the restaurant, just let you guide by the service, who may perfectly propose to start with an aperitif made of rum, pineapple juice and hibiscus flower while waiting to be given a table, to follow with a discovery menu made of some meat dishes and some vegetable dishes (you will be served a random combination of either lamb, chicken or beef depending of the mood of the chef unless otherwise stated), and finish with an Ethiopian coffee.
The discovery menu consists in a series of small dishes the content of which is delicately spooned on the injera (a staple bread made of teff, a cereal similar to the millet) laying on the bottom of a big plate in which, following the Ethiopian tradition, everybody helps oneself.
To eat the dishes, pieces of injera (served in a side basket) are torn off and used to grab the food. All the dishes served in the discovery menu may be eaten together, so you may combine some yellow lentils with a home-made white cheese, a bit of salad with fried cubed chicken with spicy spinach, stewed cabbage and potato with chopped beef and curcuma, etc.
The service is friendly, efficient, kind, smiley, and always ready to advise the customer on how to get the best of the menu, how to tear off the injera, and to explain how the Ethiopians eat their food. By the way, the service has no complex in introducing the first injera crêpe into the mouth of the client to show him/her how it works...
Apart from being a restaurant, Kokob also organises concerts, photo exhibitions and other cultural events (not only about Ethiopia).
Finally, interesting to know that although the food is heated and the dishes finished in the open kitchen that you see at the end of the room, the food is made by female Ethiopian cooks during the day, as most stews may take long hours to prepare.
Do not go without booking!
For more information, please visit http://www.kokob.be/
Rating : 7/10