Talking To Corarima

Wakefield's best-rated restaurant

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Eat.Drink.Wakefield | 07.02.2021

Corarima has been a breath of fresh air since opening in 2018.

Hitting top spot in Tripadvisor’s list of the best restaurants in Wakefield is impressive enough; doing it by serving healthy, vegetarian dishes from a barely known cuisine is almost beyond belief.

Asamnew and his family have won over the hearts, minds and bellies of Wakefield with their authentic Abyssinian cuisine and unique brand of home-style hospitality. Every customer is treated like a long-lost friend, every meal cooked as if it were a family feast.

Their story gives an insight into why they do what they do. After being welcomed in Wakefield from Eritrea, Corarima is their way of giving back to the community.

With an interior like no other in Wakefield – modern and relaxing, minimal but bursting with tradition and character – Corarima’s spot on Cross Street is a sanctuary in the City Centre.

Asamnew kindly took some time to speak with Eat. Drink. Wakefield. about Corarima and their plans for the future.

Tell us a bit about Corarima and how it started

Corarima really was birthed from a response to unconditional LOVE that we have been granted by the wonderful people here in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. Yes, Yorkshire!

Even the inception of the name itself, being the name of the most amazing spice, in fact the king of the spices in Abyssinian cuisine. When included in any dish it has the power to lift the flavour to another level.

So in a way we would like to add value and flavour to the community we live amongst. We add value not only by serving fantastic food, which is cooked by my exquisite and beautiful wife of 26 years, but also by serving with dignity and class of the best of Abyssinian hospitality including food for thought (mind.) We love people as we love ourselves.  

What made you set up in Wakefield rather than somewhere like Leeds or Sheffield?

As mentioned in the first part, we decided to give back to the community that means so much to us. We arrived in Wakefield in 2007. At the time that we did not have anything, the love that we have been granted made us rich.

Therefore, we want to say thank you and show our gratitude.

On the other side, we have been observing that there is a gap in healthy food and obesity is rife. We thought it was our responsibility to do something about it. If we could change and alleviate someone’s issue, it would be enough. We wanted to change some of the culture through inspiration.

The Corarima experience is about more than just the food - how important is hospitality, atmosphere and service?

The word hospitality comes from the word hospitable. Hospitability comes from the deep conviction of love and esteem that you have for yourself. You want othera to have the same by doing things the same way as you would for yourself. That is what we do.

How does the Wakefield food scene compare to bigger cities like Leeds and Sheffield?

Our clients are not only from Wakefield but also from Leeds and Sheffield even as far as London.

Our principle is; make your fruit so good that people can not avoid you. A fruit tree does not leave its root to serve its fruit but people come for the fruit. Though the fruit should be the best.   

How can independent restaurants and takeaways compete with chains and fast food?

By loving people and the unique food they produce.

How has Coronavirus affected your business?

In a positive and negative way.

Negative way, it is obvious.

Positive way, we have evolved as a business to suit not only for COVID-19 but for the future.

What's next for Corarima?

Our online cooking course will be launched very soon and a recipe book is also in the pipeline.

Corarima Wakefield

10 Cross St, Wakefield WF1 3BW