Another guest blog from our mate, Janice.
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Ph: 9376 8754
Open: Mon-Sat, 5.30pm – 10pm
With an assortment of African treasures positioned on every surface of the restaurant, and a pseudo thatched-veranda hanging over the counter at the back of the room, you are easily swept up by the percussive background beat into the Horn of Africa atmosphere. Traditional African chairs and tables are scattered throughout the restaurant, for those looking for a truly authentic, albeit novelty, experience (i.e. me).
Our initial confusion/borderline insult at the hefty stack of napkins set down at our table on arrival was soon absolved when our entrée arrived, sans cutlery, but accompanied by 3 rolls of thin, crumpet textured bread. After a quick cultural catch up lesson from our unobtrusive, yet polite waiter, we quickly discovered this injera bread was to play the role of our implements for the night. We were soon scooping our chunks of zucchini in a bath of dark ghee, tomato and berbere spice (80% Serrano chilli + 20% mix of 25 other spices) like veteran African-eaters ($6).
In our true non-decisive style, we decided to go with chef’s choice platter for our main ($45 for 2). A large dish covered in a tagine shaped lid was brought to the table, and with a flourish, our personal smorgasbord of dishes was revealed, laid out on a bed of more injera bread.
Featured on the platter was a delicately tender stew of lamb strips, lightly spiced cubes of Nile perch, chunks of lemony goat on the bone (which was actually on the specials menu, but the waiter had included after our subtle hints at wanting to sample it), a helping of traditional East African chicken casserole, 2 types of lentils in subtle African spices, spiced pumpkin and crowned with a simple mixed salad in the middle.
Overall the food was both extremely filling and satisfying, service refreshingly prompt, and the modest wine list that accompanied the menu had most bottles around the mid 20’s mark.
For a fiery meal, with a twist from the norm that’s not going break the bank you can’t go past The Abyssinian.