Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Harambe - Ethiopian

There are a few suburbs in Melbourne where migrants comes from Eastern regions of Africa (e.g. Sudan, Erithrea and Ethiopia) settled. One of the suburb is Footscray. Here there are several Ethiopian restaurants. On a weekend, we went to one of our favourite, Harambe, which is at the end of Nicholson Street.

Harambe has an interesting setting, with thatched roof and a decor that virtually transport you to a cafe in Addis Ababa.

We ordered a sampling of traditional Ethiopian cusine consisting of vegetable and meat side dishes and entrees (see photo), i.e. wot, a thick stew,  and minchet - a spiced minced meat stew.  The dishes are served on top of Injera, a large sourdough flat-floppy bread. These are served in a large brightly coloured enamel pan, which is shared by all around a table. The food are first served in small bowls of different size and shapes, brought to the table on a trolley, they are then served (or poured) on the big colourful enamel pan. No cutlery is provided, it is a usual custom to have your meals with hands. This is what the Western culture probably missed when food are eaten with fork and knife, i.e. the feel of the food, the texture and warmth. You will notice that Ethiopian do not serve pork or shellfish, as they are forbidden by their religion, which is Islam, Jewish or Ethiopian Orthodox Christian.

To complete Ethiopian experience, we finished off with a glass of Ethiopian 'Dashen Beer'.

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