All you can Eth
I had been looking forward to E and as it turns out, rightly so. We headed to Kensington to visit The Abyssinian, a place I’ll definitely return to. I didn’t realise it was going to be such a ‘hands on’ experience, but I was pleasantly surprised with the lack of cutlery. Being a left-hander, it took me til half way through entree to be respectful of the right-handed culture (apologies, I promise I got the hang of it). In hindsight we didn’t even need an entree, but it was a good indication of what was to come.
Along with entree came numerous Ethiopian beers, with the stand out being the sweeter, heartier Meta Beer. Following this was the now ‘obligatory’ national shot – this was not as easy to order as usual and involved one of our party being personally escorted through the restaurant’s liquor cabinet. We finally got our shot of ‘Ethiopian sherry’ which started off tasting like scotch and finished as baileys…a problem? I think not.
When we realised the Chef’s choice (approx. $20 per person) included everything on the menu except 2 dishes, we ordered the Chef’s choice and the missing 2 dishes. Seems logical.
The presentation of the meal itself was spectacular. A huge platter lined in tangy, spongy and surprisingly resilient Injera bread, with each dish firstly explained and then promptly slopped on top of the bread. The dishes mixed with each other and I used my hands to feed friends that I otherwise wouldn’t. It was intimate, strange and incredible.
The stand outs were both of the lamb dishes (Zighini – included in the banquet and Shiro Bozena – not included) but none of the dishes disappointed, not one.
By the end of the meal the fingers on my right hand (I managed to swap) were wrinkly. The kind of wrinkly you get when you’ve stayed in the bath too long…but this time I’d stayed in the food too long.
I called “last bite” at least 4 times but I couldn’t decide which handful to finish on so I ended up sickly and wonderfully full.
This was by far my favourite letter to date.
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