Addis Abeba, Footscray

July 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s pretty ridiculous that I’ve yet to review an Ethiopian restaurant in Footscray. I don’t know why it has taken me so long. I guess because I wanted to pick a favourite?

Things you need to know about eating at Ethiopian restaurants:

  • Don’t do this on your own. This is group-eating food. And even then you will be really really full at the end.
  • You may well be the only people in the restaurant, contrary to popular belief this is not always an indication of the quality of the premises. It’s just a quirk. I think most of the Ethopian restaurants in Footscray make their money from big functions.
  • You’ll be eating with your hands. What of it?
  • Order an Ethiopian beer, I like St George and Harar.

Addis Abeba is my favourite because it’s smaller and cosier than some of its friends, such as African Town and Harambe, and because the owners/staff are especially warm. But to be honest, most of the Ethiopian/Eritrean restaurants in Footscray serve roughly the same menu, and most of them are pretty good. As well as the aforementioned African Town and Harambe, I can also vouch for Abesha’s (which is slightly fancier in that the food came in little pots rather than straight onto the bread) and I’ve heard good things about Cafe Lalibela.

I like to order the vegetarian combination ($12), pictured above on the left. Six little stews: silverbeet, cabbage, red lentil, brown lentil, chickpea, carrot and a spiced potato one that is the best. On the right is my other favourite, special beef (or lamb, your choice) tibs ($15), small pieces of marinated beef cooked high and fast on a hot plate with fresh onion, tomato and green chilis. Spicy and hot and satisfying all my red meat cravings for at least a fortnight.

Everything is served with injera (you don’t have to order it), the cool, slightly sour spongy pancake that is the key to Ethiopian and Eritrean eating. Use the bread to pick up your food. This is why you will feel so full. If you’re on a serious budget, get just one mixed combination (meat and non-meat dishes) to share. If you’re with a big group, also order the ful, because ful is the best.

So don’t be scared of the empty restaurant. Well, at least not when it comes with a recommendation from me.

Addis Abeba
226 Nicholson St
ph: 03 9687 4363
Open every day for lunch and dinner


Addis Abeba on Urbanspoon


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