Zigni House Eritrean and East African Cuisine information

Zigni House in Islington boasts an authentic range of Eritrean and East African meals including many house specials. The relaxed atmosphere makes it a popular destination with locals.

Ranked #1516 of 5241 restaurants in London

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Zigni House Eritrean and East African Cuisine reviews

By J.

I had such an amazing curry at Zigni House, I just loved the place. Since then though my mate has told me they had a bad experience at Zigni House, anyone else been there who can be objective?

By Laura W.

I tried food there about 3 months ago and I was disappointed by food and service.I see that owner change food and some equipment then I go to try again- unfortunately I was disappointed again! I think owner desperately trying not to bankrupt but not nice food and nervous atmosphere there will not bring new customers and old will run away. I will not come back definitively.

By E A.

And the one star is merely for the sweet albeit febrile waitress who served us! Extremely disappointed with Zigni. Did management change? Had already been there once over the weekend and enjoyed the buffet so I decided to bring a friend this time. Granted we went on a Monday so were not expecting the restaurant to be packed - we were the only diners (subsequently joined by another party an hour later); when we arrived, it looked like it was shut - a guy was showing his painter decorater around and they were actively surveying the premises throughout the meal! Only one waitress, who had no problem cleaning the walls whilst we waited to be served. Drinks and food took ages to arrive, food was lukewarm, hummus was watery with way too much lemon. Worst was when I realised pieces of my chicken were undercooked! When did I sign up for salmonella? We were abandoned for 40 mins and had to go searching for someone to bring the bill (we actually had to call out don the stairs for attention) only to be informed that the card machine was broken and we had to out to the nearest cashpoint-why couldnt we have been told upon arrival? Big Fat fail for Zigni. Beware.

By C T.

We traveled all the way up to Essex Road to try African Cuisine but we were severely disappointed. The food itself was not terrible, but our waitress was incredibly unprofessional and her bad handling of a commonplace problem failed to impress. It took a full hour and a half before our drinks came, but our real trouble started when she served one of our party the wrong order - mixing up the spicy “zigni” curry with the milder “alicha” option that was ordered. This is not an unusual mistake at a restaurant, but the way our waitress handled the situation was extremely unprofessional. She was highly evasive and continually denied the mistake, ignoring us when we attempted to get her attention and point out the problem - only getting to us until the rest of our group had already finished eating. At that point, she then demanded payment for half the erroneous dish or a new order which would have taken another twenty minutes to come. Of course, we instead asked that the single erroneous order be canceled. Instead, she continued to argue with us, before finally consenting to the cancellation. Not content, she later complained to other customers about how “unreasonable” we were, and that we were disrupting her restaurant by simply attempting to talk to her, when it could all have been avoided if she had listened and understood our problem in the first place instead of simply assuming the worst of her customers from the outset. In all, what could have been an enjoyable meal was ruined by a very unprofessional waitress.

By Amanda L.

We went there last week for some cultural event they had going on and we had an amazing time. They had a lot of traditional artifacts and clothes on display, lots of cocktail food and drinks too. And of course who could forget the dancing. Amazing. Was a great Xmas party for us.

By Amanda L.

First time trying Eritrean and Ethiopian food, and all I have to say is wow! Zigni House Restaurant and Bar is soo beautiful with tons of hand made cultural stuff everywhere. Almost looks like a gallery. The food was to die for, we went on a Friday night and the place was bubbling with atmosphere! They had some buffet on and we tried it, got a free glass of wine to. The food was so different from what we usually eat and the spices just complimented each other.

We were hoping for some live music too but they didn't have it on that night. I've heard a lot about Zigni House Restaurant and Bar but never visited it before. I regret not going there earlier. But low and behold, I have now become a loyal fan of East African cuisine and will be going there more often.

By Angela F.

Amazing little restaurant found in the not so well known part of Islington. As most people would normally look for eat out places on Upper Street, this little gem of a place is located a few minutes away on Essex Road. The place is quite relaxed and offers a homely and chilled out vibe to atmosphere and service. The food is amazing, I have tasted Eritrean and Ethiopian food in other restaurants but none of them compare to the delicate and deep flavours of the Zigni House restaurant. The service is a little slow, but whole system seems to work because of the very friendly and blaze staff. I didn't enjoy the mixed platter starter they offered because it was not traditional and would like to see more authentic traditional dishes. After speaking to the staff at the restaurant though they did say they were working on a new menu with more variety and a lot more adventurous dishes. Cant wait to go back and try the new menu.

By E.

Four out of Five stars

Zigni House provides the finest of East African cuisine in a welcoming and laid-back environment.

The Venue
A gem of a restaurant hidden on the Essex Road - with only the odd five star review sellotaped to the window to distinguish it from the surrounding curry houses - Zigni House is well worth the bus ride from Angel.

The seating arrangements and African-kitsch decoration have something of the charmingly ad-hoc about them that adds to the general feeling of being invited in for home cooking. Folding chairs and coffee tables are laid out as if for unexpected guests at a dinner party.

The Atmosphere
The relaxed nature of the whole affair, for some one of the restaurant's great assets, can for others seem to be merely negligent service. On a busy night, the place can seem rather understaffed, and a beer can take a fair old while to arrive which isn't good news when confronted with some of the spicier stews.

However, it is by far the most rewarding approach to treat this as a necessary by-product of the restaurant's more positive qualities - the homely atmosphere and excellent quality of food that make you want to stay for hours.

The Food
One of the most popular features of the menu, and a useful trick for beating the long waits, is the buffet which offers unlimited food at a very reasonable price.

A chance to sample the zignis - spicy stews with lots of sauce - and the alichas - mildly spiced stews with a drier texture, all served with the ubiquitous injera - soft, spongy yeasted flatbread - is perfect for the uninitiated or the extremely hungry (or both).

The Last Word
Great quality and reasonable prices - Zigni House is ideal for connoisseurs and the uninitiated.

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