When I shifted from Mumbai to Melbourne, not only did my home shift but also my work. Newly found love for writing and blogging, do check my profile page hubgarden.com/profile/7780/
Published June 4th 2014
Taste of Africa in Melbourne
Melbourne is a city for foodies. You name the cuisine and you would find it in Melbourne. One such cuisine which I had heard a lot from friends in USA, is Ethiopian. While searching for restaurants, the name of Awash African Restaurant flashed first and we decided to sample it.
Located exactly opposite Footscray market, it was a short bus ride from Spencer Street. The small cafe-like restaurant has a simple but ethnic decor. The walls are a gaudy pink displaying African paintings and art.
We selected this place by looking at good reviews on the Internet. However, we were the only customers, which looked rather sparse for a Saturday afternoon. We went straight to the main course. Each item consisted of a gravy dish served with 'Injera' or steamed rice. Injera is a soft, fermented, slightly tangy crepe, the size of a big dish. We ordered one chicken dish called 'Doro Wot' and one vegetarian dish called 'Yetsom Beyaynetu'.
After placing the order, came the wait! With some delicious aromas wafting from kitchen, I could literally hear my tummy rumble. Apparently, the Injera takes a while to cook and can be a problem if you are famished. What came to our table twenty minutes later, was totally worth it. First came the large crepe, Injera, laid out in a dish. Next came the gravies. The Doro Wot is a thick brown gravy with chicken and boiled egg. The vegetarian dish had two varieties of lentils and one dry cabbage preparation. These are eaten by serving spoonfuls on the Injera, then the crepe is torn, dipped in gravy and eaten with hand.
It was a right blend of spicy and tangy tastes, awesome flavours, non-oily and came quite close to home and my Indian palate just loved every morsel. For $15 a dish, the taste was just perfect but certainly they could have made more justice with the quantity.
Lastly, we ordered the famous Ethiopian coffee. I am not a fan of black coffee so I ordered the latte. Again the coffee took time, so order early if you are in a hurry. The coffee, too, was very aromatic.
Overall, it was a good culinary experience. The food was delicious but lacked 'value for money' with regards to quantity. There was only one lady taking, cooking and serving orders. Though the atmosphere was friendly and homely, the service was quite slow.
If you have been to Awash, please write about your experience. Also, leave your comments and suggestions about other African restaurants and traditional dishes to try there.