Earlier this year I saw a Daddy’s Deal for Addis in Cape. This place has been around for a long time but I wasn’t aware that they were halaal-friendly. The clear advertising and the seemingly good deal had me busting out the cheque card faster than my brain could comprehend.
Seriously, 7 dishes for two people for R199? Sounded like a bargain- especially given the regular price of R398.
After having the voucher sit patiently in my bag for quite a while, about two weeks before it expired I reckoned I better make a booking and check this place out. I went to their website and was pleasantly surprised that I got to save my airtime. They’re affiliated with an online booking website called Quandoo so I did a quick and easy booking online through them.
I had 2 colleagues from Bahir Dar in Ethiopia and they were always talking about home. Hence, I was excited to get my ‘authentic Ethiopian experience.’ We parked in the street and the car guard was impressed with my parallel parking skills (dude, don’t discriminate against female drivers).
We walked in to find the place was strangely quiet for a weekend night. Suddenly, a man welcomed us and led us upstairs. He was friendly. I handed him the voucher.
I was drawn to the eclectic decor. The place wasn’t full but they seated us in a two seater table surrounded by other bigger parties. The seats were very cool and I was eager to see what was under the large hat like structure (don’t know the name for it) of the mesob (table). Our waiter asked whether we were having the veg or non-veg meal. We chose non-veg.
We were settling in, listening to all the foreign accents surrounding us (this place is a tourist hotspot). Our food came very quickly and our waiter gave us a quick demonstration.
The table is small and one large plate is shared amongst the guests. Very different to what I’ve experienced before. I embraced it.
On the plate was a white thin bread I’ve never tasted it before. It is called Injera and it is a flatbread made from teff (a grass) that is fermented and baked into large, floppy “pancakes” with a crepe-texture and a sourdough taste (Read more about it here, it’s gluten-free by the way!).
The waiter put our food directly on top of the injera. I was really very excited by the whole demonstration. However, when I saw the small portions of the 7 dishes I felt a bit let down. Also for the fact that the food was cold, had 2 meat dishes and the rest was coleslaw or little salads.
I loved the experience but the food did not hit the spot. The one curry was nice though – it was almost like Cape Malay denningvleis but that was it. The other food was – dare I say it, bland. Man, I hope I don’t offend any Ethiopians out there as I’m not sure how the food is supposed to taste!! The injera was extremely filling (and there was even more of it than pictured) but the dishes themselves were small.
Apparently, Ethiopians don’t really do dessert so we skipped that and opted for traditional tea and coffee (after all, Ethiopians brought coffee beans to the world). My tea wasn’t worth mentioning but wow, the coffee was an experience! It was a mini-coffee ceremony. It came with popcorn and a really ornate looking jug (called a Jabena). They also burnt incense. Of course, it’s black coffee and a teeny amount but I think that was definitely the highlight of the evening. They have a coffee ceremony on request for 10 or more people that I’d love to check out.
Just as a side note – the sound where I was sitting wasn’t really conducive to conversation. The noise is amplified but you can’t hear the person opposite you. The seats aren’t that comfortable either.
I really, really wanted to enjoy my time at Addis and I did enjoy the experience – I doubt I would go back for the rather pricey food though. Maybe it’s better to order what you want instead of getting a platter. I had an interesting time and I enjoyed trying something different. I also enjoyed our stroll down the ever-changing Long Street after dinner.
If you haven’t been, I’d recommend it purely for trying something new. Whether you enjoy it or not is your own indaba. I’ve seen many, many great reviews for it so go and make up your own mind.
Addis in Cape
Tel: +27 21 424 5722
41 Church Street,
Corner Long & Church Street,