I’ve always considered myself an adventurous eater, so when I received the invitation to dine at Addis in Cape, an authentic Ethiopian eatery in Long Street Cape Town I was a thrilled to try something new.
It’s a beautiful setting with the scent of frankincense wafting through the air; one could easily be forgiven for thinking you were in Addis Ababa. Our waiter, Dave, although not from Ethiopia himself, was very knowledgeable about the region and its rich traditions. He carefully explained how the courses were to be served as well as options at our disposal.
At Addis in Cape, the food is presented in a woven basket-like table called a Mesob. The dishes are served together on a large plate which is layered with a pancake-like sourdough base called Injera. Only utensils you need are your hands and Injera are used to scoop the various stews and sauces.
The meals centre around “Injera” and “teff injera.” Which is really a pancake made from rice flour in the case of injera and a pancake made from teff, which is a tiny grain grown and processed in Ethiopia in the case of “Teff injera”. They are visibly different in terms of colour but also in taste and texture. One needs to taste the Teff in order to get the authentic experience as far as I’m concerned.
Our journey started with the washing of the hands,which was a perfect way to set the scene for what was to come.
We had the set menu which included a starter and a main course of 8 different non vegetarian or vegetarian dishes followed by dessert and Ethiopian coffee or tea. Per person R260starters.We had both the vegetarian and non-vegetarian option to ensure we done justice to our vegetarian friends.
Our starter was called Kategna with Ayeb Bergomen and Azifa. Now don’t be intimidated by the name, its Crispy injera with a blended lentil puree as well as homemade cottage cheese with spinach. It was very yummy.
Our main course, which is served in a bowl of injera, the idea being that one uses your hands to break off the injera and use it to scoop up whichever tasty little morsel you fancy. There really were too many dishes to mention, and I really don’t want to start an international incident for my poor memory but what I will add is that there was something for every taste or preference.
Some of my favourites where Doro Alicha (slow cooked chicken fillet with garlic, onions and turmeric, Kai Sega Wot (beef stew slow cooked with berbere), Fish in berbere and finally Shimbera Asa Wot which were these little interesting chickpea cakes….this really is the abbreviated version of all the dishes we enjoyed. This course is really deceptive, because it doesn’t seem like lots of food but I can assure you that we were 4 adults and we couldn’t finish this course.
The evening was concluded with the most divine Ethiopian coffee, beautifully served in a little ceremony. The coffee is served in a traditional coffee pot called a Jabena with, believe it or not, a side order of popcorn…
In conclusion, whether you are a vegetarian or not there really were ample options, all the courses were different in terms of taste, spiciness and texture but they were all surprisingly really delicious. All the dishes where gluten free, mind you, so your tree hugging friends will be chuffed that you took their dietary requirements seriously for a change. The venue was packed to the rafters when we left, a clear indication of its popularity. This is definitely one for the bucket list.
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41 Church Street,
Corner Long & Church Street,
Tel: +27 21 424 5722