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While it’s nowhere near as prevalent as Greek, Italian, Chinese or Japanese cuisine, there are quite a few good Ethiopian restaurants in Toronto. One of the most centrally located is Ethiopian House (4 Irwin Ave., two blocks north of Wellesley off Yonge St.).

Eating without cutlery may seem daunting at first, but there’s great joy in eating with your hands. Instead of the requisite fork, knife or spoon, you use Injera to pick up the food and transfer it to your mouth. Injera is an Ethiopian staple, best described as a densely spongy but flimsy pita, that tastes slightly vinegary and is surprisingly filling. Using only your right (or dominant) hand, you rip off a small piece of Injera and fold it around the meat or vegetable of your choice.

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Our table of four ordered three different items that were all served together on a large plate.

Vegetarian Bayaaynatu for two ($23.95)
Misir Wot (Lentil Stew in berbere sauce)
Sherro Wot (Highly-seasoned chickpea powder in berbere sauce)
Tikil Goman (Cabbage, carrots, potatoes cooked in turmeric sauce)
Goman Wot (Kale or collard greens in mild sauce)
Yekik Alicha (Yellow split peas in mild turmeric sauce)
Kik Wot (Split peas stew in berbere sauce)
Misir Alicha (Split lentil stew in thick mild sauce with seasoning)
Atakelt Wot (Mixed vegetables – string beans, carrots, potatoes – cooked in tomato sauce)

 

Meat Bayaaynatu ($13.55)
Tibs (Pan-fried beef sauteed with onions, garlic, green peppers, tomatoes and awaze)
Kitfo Special (Steak tarter sautéed with warm keebe and a dash of hot pepper sauce)

Gomen Be Sega ($12.95) — dish in middle
Fresh collard greens with fried beef sauteed with seasoned butter, fresh tomato, berbere, green pepper, onion and cottage cheese.

It may not look like a lot on the plate, but we were all stuffed by the end. We agreed this isn’t the most reasonably priced Ethiopian food in the city, but it’s a very social, communal dining experience that’s great fun with good friends.

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