Blue Nile is a north London haven for lovers of African cuisine, serving up a menu of Eritrean and Ethiopian specialties that one rarely finds hunkering down together on the capital’s menus. Close to Finsbury Park station down Seven Sisters Road, Blue Nile is clearly committed to the authenticity of their kitchen creations, taking care to inform the adventurous diners that book with them about the delights of the exotic cuisine on offer. After your first sample of Blue Nile’s staples from the Horn of Africa, you’ll find yourself an immediate convert to these less well-known cuisines.
Eritrean and Ethiopian cuisines are strongly linked, but each have their regional differences, a diversity well-understood and respected by the talented East African chefs working the kitchen at Blue Nile’s Seven Sisters Road premises. Eritrean cuisine tends to use more seafood and be lighter in texture and flavour profile than its Ethiopian equivalent, with many dishes using a base of butter that is less herbed and spiced to build dishes like the ubiquitous tsebhi, a stew served up with the tasty taff-and-sourdough flatbread inerja. True to form, Blue Nile’s Eritrean offering demonstrates the culinary influences of the Ottoman empire and Mediterranean tastes on this East African culinary culture, with the tasty seafood stew tsebhi assa being our recommendation. Here, Finsbury Park locals are treated to dishes that are hard to find so assiduously presented elsewhere in London.
Ethiopia’s famously spicy stews are in full effect at Blue Nile, too. Again served most commonly with a side of inerja, intended to be shared communally with friends and family, with no cutlery used besides hunks of fresh-baked flatbread, the regional specialty of wot is unmissable, as are the lamb-based tibsi and fitfit, or the derek tibsi, spicy cubes of beef sauteed in a special Blue Nile seasoning and served in a hot clay pot. Acknowledging that this north London African restaurant is bound to catch many foodies in a state of culinary ignorance, a great way to explore the Eritrean and Ethiopian cuisine on offer is to order a Blue Nile combo, vegetarian and meat platters chosen by the chef and designed to offer diners the chance to indulge in a range of East African delicacies. Certainly a good way for novices to get their hand in, literally, when they book at this very special restaurant down Seven Sisters Road in Finsbury Park.
Super friendly and welcoming, amazing food, great veggie options with lots to choose from. Lovely atmosphere, much nicer inside than it looks from the outside. Definitely going back!
Great food, good portion size and friendly staff! Will definitely be back for more Injera. The decor could do with being a bit slicker but the tasty food made up for it.
The atmosphere reminds me rather a clip than a restaurant with poor light, but the food is delicious and the staff are helpful and prompt.