There´s always a new bar, a new artesian this that, or the other; a new gastro pub or brewery and a hip bakery that opens every other day in Madrid. Although we at Mad 4 Madrid are always on the hunt for these new businesses, some times, we genuinely do like to take a step off the beaten path. One of the things that we love most about Madrid is how diverse it is! You can literally find anything here: Korean food, Japanese, Indian, Mexican, Argentine, Columbian, Ecuadorian, French, and tons more. This weekend we chose to head to East Africa and tried an Ethiopian restaurant in Madrid. There are two well known restaurants located in the Malasaña neighborhood; however, this one, Gonder, is in the middle of La Latina.
Gonder is steps away from the Plaza Mayor, but you couldn´t tell by the prices. When you first walk in, you see a well-stocked to the right and tons of traditional Ethiopian artwork and tapestries hanging on the wall. There was soothing music in the background, and although we could smell the delicious food, it was far from over-powering.
What to drink: We ordered a honey based wine with ice, and it was so delicious! It´s addictive and we promise you will drink at least 2 glasses. It´s a traditional drink and the owner added ice to help beat the summer heat.
What to eat: Honestly, the best part about Ethiopian food is that the plate is made of bread. What we mean is that the food is on a large, round and flat spongy bread. As you eat the food, you use your hands! That´s right, take that mom and dad! Use your hands and share with your friends.To start we had samosas with lentils and vegetables and a spicy dipping sauce. There was also shredded bread dish with garlic and spices. As for what we ordered, I wish that there were more details, but to be honest we asked the owner and she delivered a huge plate of delicious. There were vegetarian options as well as meat. The main ingredients in Ethiopian cuisine are lentils, garbanzos, chicken, beef, beet root, and potatoes.The dishes are very savory, and the sauces border on spicy. The honey wine really comes in handy here!
Overall, the experience was so very positive! Ethiopian food is relaxed and all about the experience of sharing and communing with friends and family. In more traditional restaurants, there are no chairs, but there are pillows and cushions to sit comfortably on the floor. The owner made us feel as though we had just stepped foot into her living room and the staff are very attentive. As for the price, for a group of 5 people, we each paid around 15€, drinks separate. Since there are options for both vegetarians and meat eaters, as well as a variety of dishes to choose from, everyone can leave happy and full. Between the warm atmosphere, the soft music, the smiling faces and the chance to try something new and tasty with friends, we´d say that Gonder in La Latina is a winner.