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Published March 20th 2013
Take your taste buds on an African adventure
Tucked inside Ranchlod Arcade in Moorooka , filled with bright African tie-dyed clothes and hair stylists offering the latest in intricate plating, lays a hidden gem of a restaurant. Not only are diners treated with the warm hospitality and gourmet delights of Ethiopian culture; by visiting, they are supporting a valuable program providing refugee women opportunities in paid employment.
From the first bdhan musu (welcome) to the traditional coffee ceremony, people are immersed in a rich cultural experience. A story layered with the heartbreak and success, Mu'ooz is a community based, not for profit venture, set up to employ African women and to improve cross cultural understanding.
Many refugee women, having escaped their worn torn county, find it difficult to find employment as they often have limited education or skills other than to cook traditional food for the family. Mu'ooz was brought about by a group of women, determined to make a living and career path for others like them. They began catering for local community groups and selling food in markets. Ten years on, Mu'ooz is a vibrant Eritrean restaurant offering traditional Congo and Ethiopian dishes. Bursting with flavour, dishes are small, but filling. Although chilli features in most dishes, they are not the scalding hot type. Even the children in our group were able to eat all of the dishes.
Although dishes are offered on the menu as individual portions, the best way to eat them is to dine from the shared traditional platters. Enjera, the flat, sourbread pancakes which accompany all meals, are rolled and laid out around the dish. Diners are encouraged to tear off pieces and scoop up the variety of stews and dips in the middle. Dishes are spicy, intricate in flavour and best eaten with the crunchy salad and yoghurt and scooped up into the bread.
Main meals begin at $16, entries at $8. There is a variety of vegetarian options and meats, including goat. Don't miss the traditional thick coffee served in tiny cups, or the warm semolina cake.
Open from Tuesday till Saturday for lunch, dinner and takeaway, Mu'ooz is a licensed restaurant, offering authentic African beer and wines. Support this community based project and take your taste buds on an adventure. Bookings are essential.