The Global Café at RISC is a charming and welcoming café that has gained a reputation in Reading both for being child friendly and for offering exceptionally friendly service, something that is wonderful to see in this day and age. Everything about the Global Café has been well thought out, from the pram and wheelchair access to the layout of the tables (which somehow create a more relaxed eating space) to the fair-trade products which they sell in the shop that adjoins the café.
Indeed such is its reputation that the Global Café has been around for more than ten years now. In that time it has gone through frequent changes to the menu, although it was always strongly vegetarian. Nowadays the café offers vegetarian and vegan food with a strongly Ethiopian flavour, thanks to the Ethiopian chef who runs the kitchens. That doesn’t mean all the old favourites are gone. You can still get their fabulous baked potatoes and the big gut buster veggie breakfasts, but the variety available for lunch and evening meals is now a lot greater.
For starter try the incredible humus, made to their own recipe and served with a generous selection of pitta breads. If you are sharing with someone else at the table (which is the best way to enjoy Ethiopian food) order a couple of main courses – we had the vegan or vegetarian platter and a delightful thick, creamy soup with more pitta. The platters are referred to as injurers, and they cost around £8 but refills are free so they represent excellent value.
If you’ve got any room for desert the café serves a mean lemon drizzle cake and I’m told the walnut and coffee cake is good too.
The Global is excellent value, feeding four of us for under £35 and if you fancy a drink they also have some lovely international beers as well as vegan wines. Recommended.
Alex is a financial blogger and writer and a vegetarian. He loves writing about vegetarian food and green issues although he spends most of his time writing about finance and business from mortgages to taxes to payday loans .