In a city where South Indian cuisine is celebrated like a king, entry of a foreign cuisine is very precarious. Italian, Mexican and Chinese have found their places in the market and they grew exponentially. We love to experiment, ain’t it? How about travelling to the Country of Coffee this time? Welcome Abyssinian to Chennai which stands proud being the first ever standalone restaurant in India which takes us on a mini trip to Ethiopia with it’s ambience and of course, the food.
The restaurant located in the Oh-so-posh Venus colony of Alwarpet is literally a small 20 seater room, but somehow gives a feel that you are indeed transported to the land of Abyssinia. See for yourself..
Traditionally, Ethiopians emphasise on eating together. That means that they have a common platter from which they share. As you can see below, the round table in the middle holds the food. The chairs are pretty uncomfortable but if you have to experience the true Ethiopian style, you have to go all out, ain’t it?
We were 4 vegetarian bloggers who were invited for a lunch. I am sure being a vegetarian had it’s restrictions for the Chef. But we got to eat A LOT. A LOT. Here is a summary of what we relished.
We started our Culinary journey to Africa with a drink called Tej. Made of fermented rice and honey, it tasted like a subtle wine but it is NOT alcoholic ( Ma, now don’t ask how I know the taste of wine).
Adengare Shorba ( Rs.179/-)
Apart from the funny name, this Soup was very light and tasty. Kidney beans, onions and Tomato were the main ingredients of this simple and clean Shorba.
This African Bonda had a strong flavour of GARLIC. The accompaniment which came along with it was lip smackingly delicious.
Main Course – Vegetarian Messob ( Rs.3399/-)
This was indeed the real feast. An array of exquisite gravies to be eaten with rolls of bread called as Injera were kept on display. There were so many dishes which I still can’t pronounce or type were served. Ethiopians use this distinct spice called BERBERE ( tastes similar to Paprika) and was predominant in the gravies. Yatakilt Wot, Dinch Wot are the exotic names which stuck to my head. Yeduba Wot, a spicy pumpkin dish and the Dal were repeated the most and gets 5/5 from my side.
Ayib, mildly flavoured cottage Cheese were also a part of the massive platter. It is used to neutralise the spice/sweet and give a tangy kick.
I was 100 percent satisfied with the main course that I had thought of rating this a 5/5 and then the desserts came. The sweet Sambussa is a sweet spring roll stuffed with dates, sweet carrots and honey. It tasted good but didn’t surpass the main course.
Ethiopian Coffee ( ~Rs.180/-)
We ended our meal with Coffee. Not just any coffee, but THE FAMOUS Ethiopian Coffee. Thanks to my job in Coffee day, I have tried different roasts and blends of Coffee, but nothing like this. This coffee is to be had with a pinch of Salt, sugar and butter. MY MY. Delicious. The Popcorn adds to the experience.
Overall, I would like to appreciate the management for bringing such an innovative concept to the country. It is indeed an experience to not be missed and the money you spend…totally worth it.
My rating would be 4.5/5
Until next time