East Africa – Ethiopian in NDG

March 27, 2013 , In: African, NDG , With: No Comments
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I follow Chowhounds Montreal board pretty closely, and there was a lot of buzz about East Africa, a new-ish restaurant that opened up on Sherbrooke in NDG.  I’ve always wanted to try Ethiopian food, and was excited about finally heading out there one night with some gals for a well needed catch up.

East Africa

First off, the place is pretty… austere.  From the outside it looks a bit… whatever… but the sign with words scrolling past in Amharic was a good sign.

Inside

inside 2

 

Inside is extremely basic as well.  There are only a few tables, and not much adorning the walls.  Overall, the theme is very…. red… But the place was busy and I was glad we had reserved.  Although not very well advertised, it’s a BYOW place, and if you don’t have a bottle there’s an SAQ nearby on Sherbooke and Hingston.

East Africa

So what exactly is Ethiopian food?  Well as far as I can tell, it’s a bunch of curries, and stews that are eaten with a spongy bread called injera.  The meal is served in one large dish, which makes sharing easy.  We went with #3 – Ye Doro Fitfit – a drumstick with a nice stew, #19 Ye Missir Alicha – lentils with onions, garlic, turmeric and other spices, #21 – ye Gommen Wott – Spinach, and I believe number #17 – Ye Kik Alicha – yellow split peas.  We also were given beets (who knew beets were Ethiopian?!), and a little bit of other bits and bobs.  By far the best was the chicken dish, and I think we could have ordered two of those.  I also liked the lentils and the yellow split peas which were hearty.  The spinach I wasn’t too fussed about, but it was OK.  The injera was nice – I read people complaining that it’s not great (in general) but it’s just spongy bread – nothing too offensive.  I have absolutely no comparison for this Ethiopian food though, so I am purely going by taste buds.

One of the gals I was there with has spent some time in East Africa, and confirmed that this was a fairly authentic experience, in terms of…. the service.  Service was slow, and non-existant at the end of the meal.  I had to go up to our waitress, who was cheerily talking with the chef, in order to get our bill, and pay.  But the bill…  $43 for three of us.  Wow, you don’t get much cheaper than that.

Overall, I would definitely go back.  I’d have the chicken dish again, and try a few more of the meat dishes.  I’d also have the yellow split peas again I think.  The experience was cool – I mean it’s not everyday you have Ethiopian (unless you are perhaps in Ethiopia…) and the price was right.  The light reflecting off the red walls gave everything a red glow, and it was pretty much a hole in the wall but, hey, it just adds to the experience.

They are pretty busy, so I’d reserve.  You can also order from them on Just-Eat.ca.  Go check it out, and let me know what you think!

Decor: Very basic.

Service: Slow.  Our food wasn’t that slow to come out, but at the end of the night the service basically disappeared.

Price: Very very affordable.

Food: Very interesting, and pretty good.  I’d definitely go back to explore the rest of the menu.

Good For: Wanting to try something new!  They have high chairs and are open for lunch on the weekend.  I wouldn’t hesitate to bring baby for lunch, although the space is a bit tight.

 

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Michelle Little

Writer & Photographer

Originally from the prairies and now in Montreal, I love exploring new places, eating great food and modern design. I'm mom of two wild things and paper and cake make me happy. Photographing your cutie family would make me very happy.

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