Living near Racecourse Road - and just living in Melbourne in general - has certainly opened my eyes up to the incredible variety of cuisines available out there to try. It's hard to believe that I used to be so horrendously fussy as a child (seriously, I'm pretty sure I used to have chicken burritoes, with plain chicken and cheese in a tortilla), because now I love nothing more than going out to try something completely different! Well, not everything... I still haven't brought myself up to raw fish.
We spied the Abyssinian way back in last November when we first moved up to Melbourne. Like a lot of the restaurants along Racecourse Road, it doesn't look overly fancy, but it looked inviting enough to try out. Plus, we had never really heard much about Ethiopian cuisine. So when Chris' mum came up for a visit awhile back, we jumped at the chance to try out this place.
The place is rather dark and cosy, and seemed rather quiet. But business certainly picked up as the night progressed (I'll admit, we were there rather early!). Service was quick and effective, while not overly enthusiastic and informative. We opted for a couple of African beers and ciders, and decided to try the chefs selection (around $20-$25 a head, it gets cheaper the more people order it).
And what a good choice that was! We were a bit surprised when it came out, as it was one huge platter filled to the brim with food. And no cutlery! The plate was lined with injera, a soft and spongy pancake, from which you rip of chunks and grab handfuls of the various curries. The chefs selection gave us a choice of eight curries (4 meat, 4 vegetarian, and there is a fully vegetarian option available) and a small salad in the middle. It was certainly a (messy) experience eating with our hands, but it was so fun! And all the curries were delicious. I'd highly recommend this place for anyone looking for a truly cultural foodie experience.
I definitely want to go back, but the other day I discovered a recipe for making my own (cheats) version of injera, so I whipped up a little Ethiopian feast at home! I'll be sure to share next time I make it.
Tried any new cuisines lately?