Toukoul

Toukoul is the second Ethiopian restaurant we’ve visited in Belgium, after Kokob. In fact, the chef of Kokob left after a few years to set up Toukoul, and I think he took some of the staff with him, so it’s no great surprise that the food is of a similar type and quality.

It’s a large and open space, tastefully but minimally adorned with cultural brac-a-brac. Windows and doors at both ends keep it bright. The singer and keyboard player in the corner performed light jazz throughout the evening. Not my cup of tea, but nice if you’re into that kind of thing.

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Ethiopian beer, bien sur.

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An amuse-bouche of injera (a millet-based spongey bread) and aubergine.

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More injera for the main course.

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Which is a large plate of injera covered with a selection of vegetarian stuff (salad, white cheese, spinach, peppers, peas and lentils, mushrooms, beetroot, and so forth).

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Another plate with more of the same, plus some chicken in the middle. The white dome in the centre is a hard boiled egg.

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Lamb.

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Beef.

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The waitress explained to our two guests how to eat it: tear of a strip of injera and use it to pick up a little of each dish. She then put it in their mouths as a kind of offering, but from that point on they were allowed to feed themselves.

It was all very tasty and interesting, although, as I’d found before with this kind of meal, eating a piece of bread with literally every mouthful means that I get full pretty quickly. Service was friendly, if a little on the leisurely side, but the company was good and we needed the time to digest, so that wasn’t so much of a problem.