The lighting is dim (the kind that makes everyone look good) and the smell of spice, frankincense and delicious food fill the air. There are african masks, art and figurines adorning the walls and shelves. The tables mistakenly appear to be large bongo drums with low hand-carved wooden seats with little matching hand-carved wooden tables next to each one.
I think we were all a bit anxious, having never been to an Ethiopian restaurant before and at the same time we were all excited by the exotic and welcoming nature of the whole place. After much contemplation and some mild discussion, we had made our decisions. The tall, thin waitress with a poofy afro-puff to die for, took our order and it wasnt long before she arrived with a tray of food in her hands. A large dome-shaped lid much like a tagine covered the tray and was set on the bongo drum table in the middle of all of us. She then proceeded to dump out each dish ordered on a large crepe looking thing that covered the surface of the bongo. Extra rolled-up crepes were passed out in baskets (cutlery was nowhere in sight). After washing our hands by pouring water over them with an ornate silver tea-pot and bowl we proceeded to dig in.
The food was amazing! Aromatic, tender, full of spice and unique to anything I have had before. We ate every last bite and could not stop talking about how delicious everything was. After dinner, we were served with warm, wet cloths to wipe our hands with and had Ethiopian coffee so smooth and appealing, I didn’t even desire any sugar or milk (I am usually a 2 sugars kind of gal).
To sum it all up, this place is amazing and I am actually sad I hadn’t been there before.
Cheers to Addis!