While most food-trend-forecasters (that’s a real job, yes) might bet their money on Mexican food to rule Berlin this coming months, I am personally rooting for the rediscovery of West, Central and East African food. Admittedly a region to big to assemble under one label, it seems so unjustifiably underrepresented in the Berlin food scene, that creating a generous label might proof handy for my own discovery. However, the least underrepresented of those national cuisines is definitely Ethiopia’s. And one very delicious example is located just off the canal in Kreuzberg: Langano.
Langano serves a big variety of Wot’, Ethiopian stews either vegetarian or with meat, with the typical sourdough injera – soft and spongy pancakes used instead of cutlery. Big means big: at least 13 meat and fish variations plus another 7 vegetarian Wot’ definitely made us choose the mixed platters instead of having to decide ourselves. The shared plate arrives with all stews assorted on top of an injera, which is then gently ripped apart and used to scoop up the different sauces. Please don’t judge the deliciousness of this dish by the picture above. Not only is it seriously hard to photograph in a dimly lit place, but it is almost impossible to make stews, thoroughly cooked through mixed ingredients, look luscious on a picture, and the combination of both – many stews in a dark place – makes taking a picture that shows you how delicious this food is almost impossible.s.)
I am only making up this excuse because all of those Wot’ were scrumptious and you need to put this place on your personal to-eat-list, although it might not look like it in the pictures. Two of the stews were based on lentils, the others were curry, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, beet root, spices and so on. And despite them looking all alike, they were very different in taste with many levels of flavors and a depth and comfort needed on those rainy and stormy early spring days. Ethiopian food is comfort food at its best, shared with friends, eaten with your hands and with loads of spicy notes to warm your heart.
Langano also serves a variety of interesting drinks, like a nice cider from South Africa, Ethiopian beer and a choice of fruit beers flavored with passion fruit, mango or banana served in a huge plant cup, that some of our dinner party enjoyed a lot and that was ordered at almost every other table surrounding us. By the way, we went on a Monday and it was quite crowded so we were well advised to make a reservation.