LDNReview

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Brothers Cafe & Restaurant image
8.2

Brothers Cafe & Restaurant

Somali

Tottenham

$$$$Perfect For:Big GroupsCasual Weeknight DinnerDining SoloHalalTakeawayWalk-Ins
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Given Brothers’ proximity to the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, it’s no surprise that its slow-cooked meats are so ready to tenderly fall from the bone and collapse. It’s in the very DNA of this area. But the vital point of difference between these two destinations in N17 is that this Somali restaurant is actually worth travelling to. Their platters of bariis iskukaris with grilled meats are piles made for multiple people—generous in portion, flavour, and value.

Nothing about Brothers shouts about the quality of food being made. The room is brightly lit and functional. Forget the formality of a Soho or Shoreditch restaurant, Brothers Cafe is a social club. Sharing platters here is essential, as most people do at dinnertime. Although you're just as likely to see solo diners greedily shovelling lunch and, maybe, saving some for dinner. If one part of Brothers feels like a social club, the other part feels like everyone’s kitchen.

Brothers Cafe & Restaurant image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Eat in and you’ll get a bowl of soup as standard—usually a chicken or lamb broth—alongside a banana for mid-meal or later. Somali hospitality never leaves you wanting and this is a restaurant that prioritises satisfaction.

There are predominantly plates of grilled meat or fish served with rice. Although troughs of suugo and baasto (spaghetti and sauce) is of course on the menu. The menu which, by the way, doesn’t really exist. It’s in the head of the person behind the counter. You just talk it through, make sure you have cash, and hope for the best. Much like every football fan in north London tends to do. But regardless of your allegiances, Brothers is a restaurant that should get everyone’s undying support.

Food Rundown

Soup

A meat soup with a piquant lemon tang is how you should start your meal. Expect bits and bobs of vegetables: sometimes carrot, bits of cabbage, is that a potato? On a brisk day or if you’re just after a pick-me-up, this will sort you right out.

Brothers Cafe & Restaurant image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Duubi And Bariis

The plates of rice coming from Brothers’ kitchen are so deep with flavour that you might write a seductive sounding note in your phone that reads ‘fragrant, bit sensual’. Have we done this? Hard to say. Every spoon of rice mixes sweetness with salty, turmeric, and cinnamon-tasting flecks of onion and more. Topped with a hunk of lamb shank, so weak at the knees that the pink meat gives up before you’ve even lifted your fork, it is a truly fantastic feast of a platter. Make sure you throw some basbaas (a sharp Somali chilli sauce) in there as well.

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FOOD RUNDOWN

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