In a soi dedicated to Middle Eastern restaurants, this restaurant serves up Thai options during the day and a brief list of African dishes at night. This spot is perhaps best suited for those newly interested in pan-African cooking and who need a friendly auntie to guide them. The food is adapted to the Thai palate with local ingredients and spices. If you can handle the low-key ambience of the canteen and the dodgy soi, go for the sosatie (grilled lamb), which we saw at quite a few tables, or a Ghanaian dish like fufu (dough-like ball) served with a stew made with peanut and fish, plus a meat of your choice at B100. Feeling adventurous? Check their list of specials which includes the Senegalese dish yassa (spicy chicken with onion and lemon, B180).
Sukhumvit Soi 3 (Nana), 02-253-4741. Open daily 12pm-midnight
If you don’t want to go to the salubrious Soi Nana, A Taste of African will suit you just fine. They’re currently busy constructing a restaurant (in Soi Samakkhi, Nonthaburi) focusing on the food of Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria, but for now they offer delivery to the downtown area (though there’s no guarantee of when it will be delivered). The set lunch menu (B400) is proving popular, featuring the Nigerian dish egussi (thick stew with ground seeds) with chicken and served with plantains and rice or chapatti (flat bread). Otherwise, you can opt for an Ethiopian dish like impressive doro wat (stew) with chicken and served with plantains, homemade injera (sour flatbread) or rice (B400). Do check their Facebook page as they sometimes hold wine dinners in Nonthaburi.
Delivery only. 083-438-5075. www.facebook.com/africainthailand
Run by Ethiopian natives, from the owner to the cooks, this restaurant does exactly what the name says—classic Ethiopian dishes. Dining here, you’ll feel like you’re no longer in Thailand with the eclectic crowds conversing in multiple crowds and languages. Try the popular doro wat platter that comes with stew, vegetables and flatbread or a wide range selections of grilled meat. Bring some friends as portions are quite big and note that it’s located right next to an African pub where things can get pretty rowdy later on in the evenings.
Sukhumvit Soi 3 (Nana), 084-930-3250, 085-440-5428. Open daily 11am-10pm.
Stepping into Habesha is an otherworldly experience, with its low ceiling adorned with baubles and tinsel, vintage-patterned wallpaper and dimly-lit corners. Hookah smoke fills the air and Ethiopian music blares at all hours, with a stage hosting live music every night from about 11:30pm. It also serves up large portions of authentic Ethiopian food. In keeping with tradition, it’s all about eating with your hands, here. Wat (stew) is served on a plate of injera, a fermented bread that resembles a large pancake. Slightly sour, the bread is great for soaking up the rich, spicy flavors. Dishes come with beef, chicken and lamb, while there are also plenty of vegetarian options, with prices around the B200-400 mark. Try them all as part of the Ultimate Combination (B1,000, serves 2-3 people). And don’t leave without ordering a strong Ethiopian coffee (B100).
1/26 Sukhumvit Soi 3 (Nana), 085-016-0353. Open daily 11am-late (food finishes 10pm). www.ethiopianrestaurantbangkok.com