Tuesday, March 23, 2010

In which the author makes himself hungry

Soon to appear in The National:

Ethio al Habasha
15th Street/Muroor Road,
Abu Dhabi.

This is eating at its most elemental. Like all Ethiopian food, the table is utensil-free and eating is done with wads of tangy injera bread. And there is no shortage of options for you to dab, scoop or shovel. After several lunchtime trips to the small storefront – “cosy” is a bit too kind, but the friendly, relaxed vibe and colourful furniture make up for the bedroom-sized dining area – a few favourites have emerged. The clear winner is alitcha menchet (Dh20), a slurry of lean ground beef and spices in gravy, which you can order “regular” or “spicy”. Go for the spicy; it doesn’t burn your tongue and provides a nice counterpart to the bread. As a bonus, it comes with a hard-boiled egg on top. The derak tibs (Dh25) – charbroiled beef – is spicier, but can occasionally be quite dry. Another tasty option is the kifto (Dh25), raw beef minced and marinated in chili powder, clarified butter and herbs. Misiria (Dh20) is, as far as we can tell, red lentils served in a similar spicy gravy. The Habasha Special (Dh35) is spicy and delicious, even if its selection of four dishes is not easily identifiable. And if you think those prices are a bit above the usual “cheap as chips” level, remember that each entree can serve two, with heat to spare.
* Gerry Doyle


Pietro Devon said...

one of my fantasy jobs-restaurant reviewer. lucky s.o.b.

M. Gants v4.0 said...

Sounds yummy. Say, did it take you any time to adapt to all of the different spices over there or do you have an iron stomach resistant to all forms of culinary punishment?

Karl Smith said...

"Charbroiled"? Back to Britishisation school for you, Doyle.