When the days turn blustery, rainy and cold, there is nothing quite like hunkering down under a heated electric blanket on the couch with something hearty and filling to stave away the cold. If you are feeling the wintery chill, then the desire for comfort food to warm you up will be Jedi-like strong.
Personally, I think that there is nothing quite like the culinary adventure that is Ethiopian food, which offers a spicy and diverse menu based on rich and fragrant stews. The force is strong with Ethiopian cuisine, a savoury experience that will make your taste buds sing, even though these dishes are quite nutritious and low in fat. This is what I call happy food, a meal that is tasty, nourishing and a super mood booster. Ethiopian dishes cater for both the carnivores and the vegans, with a variety of spices and sauces that will subside the cravings within.
With a hands-on approach, Ethiopian food is usually a communal affair with the meals brought to the table on a large round platter topped with rounds of injera. Injera is a traditional fermented flatbread that is specially made with organic Teff flour, a gluten-free grain with significant nutritional benefits. The texture of this bread is such a unique but welcoming surprise with a crepe-like spongy texture that soaks up the liquid from the various dishes when you scoop up your selection.
A favourite haunt of mine is definitely Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant & Bar located in the hub of High street in Northcote as the owners here provide you with the full cultural experience. The restaurant is warm and inviting, adorned with brilliant African art and a bar that provides a range of African beers and inspiring cocktails. When the meal arrives, your eyes will be drawn to the vivid colours of greens, yellows, reds and oranges much like a painter's palette, only edible. Each dish is heaped atop the injera bread in little mounds with additional spongy rolls of bread laid at the side of the plate next to a salad garnish.
A couple of my favourite dishes are the Kayser, which is a dish of beetroot and potato flavoured with ginger and garlic priced at $16 and Shiro, which is chickpea flour roasted and simmered in a barbere sauce with kibbeh topped with chopped tomatoes for around $18. I have heard rave reviews of the meat dishes from my friends, which range from tender cubed lamb, beef or chicken pieces cooked in mouthwatering sauces.
Mesob is currently open for takeaway and delivery from 5pm to 9.30pm Tuesday to Saturday and hopefully for dine in soon from 5pm -10pm.
A meal fast becomes a feast at Mesob and I will certainly be tucking into some heavenly Ethiopian this weekend.