Queen of Sheba

Queen of Sheba is an Ethiopian restaurant in Glasgow. A friend and myself checked it out two days after we heard about it. Apparently it has been open for three months or so.

They have a buffet on Sundays. So I had a chance to checkout a good variety of the vegetarian option. Misir (lentils), ater kik (yellow split peas), shiro (what is it made from anyway, ater and shimbra?), ayib (cottage cheese),  atkilt (potatoes, carrot, cabbage), and of course injera (normally made from Teff). My friend had doro wot (chicken curry), lamb, eggs, etc (I wasn’t paying attention much – I’m a vegetarian).

The misir was nice and thick. Yes, yes, misir is my favorite wot but this one was well cooked. Shiro was good too. Even with my poor sense of taste I could taste the Ethopian kibe (butter) in it.  I give “A” to the atilkilt. The ayib (cheese) was a bit watery. They should have pressed it more. I think the injera was made from wheat or had some wheat in it (which is common here because Teff is not grown in the UK and it’s expensive to import it). Anyhow, the injera was tasty too.

Nothing special regarding drinks. We both had coke.

We paid about £25. Buffet costs around £10. It’s more expensive if you order meals. Yetsom beyanentu (basically what I had) costs a little more than £10 (£11 or £12). And kitfo is around £14. It’s a bit too pricey comparing it to other restaurants. I know a well known Indian restaurant for example that costs around £9 per meal. The Ethiopian restaurants I’ve been to in London are on average £8 per meal.

The interior looked very nice. There the usual table and chairs but also the traditional mesob and berchuma. You can see mesob in the picture. Berchuma is a three-legged bowl-like chair carved from wood.

There were two waitress. At least one of them were within an ear shot for most of the time. One of them saw we needed some more injera and brought some without us asking. Both were friendly.

The restaurant is at 175 St George’s Road Glasgow G36JD. It took us about 20 minutes to walk from Glasgow Central Station. It’s a relatively quiet area but not too far from the city center.

Why did I write this? We arrived early but it was just us in the restaurant. We asked one of the waitress if they are having any success with customers. She said a lot of people were coming at first but then somebody wrote a bad review about them. I did some googling and found it. Search for “Queen of Sheba: Wot, no flavour?” (I don’t want to link to it because it’ll make Google think it’s a favorable page). I think it’s very poor service that they took half an hour to tell him what he wanted was unavailable (if what he says is true). Maybe he found the food tasteless too. I can’t tell him what to like.

However, he makes unreasonable statements like eating by hands as something that predates cutlery. There is nothing wrong with eating by hand. If he didn’t like it then he could have asked for a fork and a knife. It’s normally eaten with hands but no one forced him to. I thought he wanted to try something different anyway.

Quoting him, “This is the kind of food you eat because climate, landscape and scarcity leave you little option”. I’ve put some of the ingredients above. Everything is edible and nutritious. In addition, teff is gluten free, and is recommended for people with coeliac disease as part of a gluten-free diet. It can replace wheat. So far I know that UK and Germany import it from Ethiopia.

I could go on talking about how unprofessional (to say the least) his review is. Go ahead and read it if you want. My personal opinion is they are a bit too expensive and that’s why they’re losing customers. His review might have driven a few people away but I don’t think a considerable number of people would consider what he says. One problem though is they don’t have a website. Googling their name returns pages with reviews about them. So I hope this will give some useful info about them until they get their website up.

On Sundays they are open from 3 PM to 11 PM. I suggest you give them a call before you go 0141 331 0192.

Would I go there again? Yes.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dere
    Apr 12, 2010 @ 18:31:20

    This was what was on the Menu for the Buffet last Sunday :

    – Atikilt
    – Misir
    – Bozena Shero
    – Alicha Shero
    – Doro Wot
    – Ye beg Wot( Ka’ye Wot and Alicha)
    – Dullet
    – Siga Wot (Oxen meat)
    – Ayib

    ** The Buffet cost 9.75 Pounds per person.

    From their normal menu ( including the above items) you can also find:

    – Sambusa ……………….5 Pounds
    – Fir fir besiga ………..11 Pounds
    – Quanta Firfir ……… .12.75 Pounds
    – Doro Wot……………. 13.75 Pounds
    – Kitfo .. …………….14.75 Pounds
    – Enjera ……………….2.75 Pounds
    – Soft Drinks …………. 2.75 Pounds
    – Coffee ( traditional serving)…6 or 7 Pounds

    Overall, the price range for most dishes is between 11 and 15 Pounds. So “Hamoten Koster, Dereten Nefa ,endihum Kiisen La’la, madereg yasfelegal”.

    Their opening hours:

    Monday – Friday 5:00pm – 11pm
    Saturday …. Open for Lunch and dinner
    Sundays…. “Buffet meal” 3pm – 11 pm

    My Experience:

    It was buffet, and I had Doro Wot, Yebeg Wot and the Kaey Wot, Dullet and some Shiro (Le Kemsha becha) with some Ayib.

    Well, the Doro wot won the majority of the vote from my taste buds! Especially the chicken piece was tasty and it was cooked very very well!! I have had my worst encounters back home, with some dried up ,muscular, Arnold Schwarzenegger chicken legs, that will make you spray all your teeth out on the floor in just one single thug. But wow, the Queen of Sheba’s Doro wot is superb!

    The dullet was nice. Except that i find it to be a little dry. Maybe its because i like dullet when it has some sauce (Me’rek).

    The restaurant indeed does have a welcoming atmosphere and has an excellent Ethio- Ambiance to it; the rhythmic Ethiopian music, the traditional set up of the “Mesob and Berchuma” , the traditional Ethiopian coffee serving ceremony – All awesome!

    Final say:

    Being the only one in the area, it is a bit expensive. But its still worth checking out.


    • tibebe
      Apr 13, 2010 @ 13:05:07

      did you steal the menu? 🙂

      sambusa- 7 pounds ? what is the world coming to?

      funny dude; i think you would do this here blog a world of good.

      so, welcome !

      and let it be known that we will hunt you down and kill you if you give up on us after a couple of posts.


    • getere
      Apr 15, 2010 @ 18:45:58

      Arnold meat 😀


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