Located along a popular section of 12th Avenue SW, the unassuming frontage of Abyssinia conceals a delight of ethnic cuisine from Ethiopia – the only African country to remain continuously independent, unconquered by Europeans. At the helm is self-taught chef Ewinet Gebru… who has engineered a menu of authentic choices for both the carnivore and vegetarian alike, all made from scratch in the traditional fashion.
As you enter, the ambiance is set by finger tapping music with African overtones, and the distinctive painted and woven art displayed on the walls are all colourfully vibrant and engaging.
For historical religious reasons, many Ethiopians spend significant portions of the year abstaining from meat, so their cuisine has a rich selection of meat-free options. We sampled both the meat and vegetarian platters, consisting of a half dozen or more dishes served over the Injera, a spongy sourdough flatbread serving as the spoon, you rip a section of the bread off and scoop up your choice.
And so many choices! Mild to spicy, soft to firm, rich to subtle. The Doro Wot’ an Ethopian National Dish is traditionally served for Ethiopian holidays and special occasions. A chicken is divided into twelve pieces and slowly simmered with one egg in Berberé sauce, the key ingredient in many Ethiopian and Eritrean dishes; which portion you get depends on your luck.
The K’ey Beg Wot’ often served side by side with the Doro Wot’ is a delicate lamb stew spiced with a combination of onion, Berberé and K’ibé sauces.
One dish Ewinet is particularly proud of is her own creation, Guragé T’ibs a wholesome dish designed for the guest looking for a more simple, milder flavour. A delicious combination of flank steak, green and red peppers, onion, tomato and served over kale.
For the vegan you can’t go wrong with myriad stews such as K’ey Missir Wot’, a dish with red lentils, onions and Berberé; K’ey Shiro Wot’ roasted chick pea flour, Berberé, Kibé or oil; and K’ey Sir with beets, potatoes, onions, jalapeños and spices.
Don’t forget Bunna, the Ethiopian coffee ceremony, where they roast and grind their own beans then brew in a special handmade ceramic pot, served in traditional ceramic cups alongside fresh popcorn and incense.
This is a dining experience not to be missed!
• Jalapeño peppers stuffed with onions, tomatoes, spices
• Ethiopian steak tartar: lean ground beef, K`ibé, Mit`mit`a, side of Yegommen Ayib
• Stir-fry lamb, onions, garlic, jalepeños, Awazé
• stew: cabbage, carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric, spices
• Mild stew: kale or collards, onions, jalapeños, spices
Abyssinia Ethiopian & Eritrean Cuisine
910 12 Ave SW
M-Th 11 am – 10 pm
F-Sun 11 am – 11 pm