I’d never tried Ethiopian food before, and it was a lot of fun with a table full of extended family to join in the fun. The food is spicy, but not burn-your-mouth hot.
Ethiopia Down Under is at Pearce shops, where Moods (formal dining) used to be. The atmosphere is great for family groups – we noticed most tables had children with them. Colourful posters on the wall, staff in traditional dress, and plastic covers over the beautiful woven tablecloths (which meant I wasn’t concerned about the amount of spillage).
They have a great selection of meat (goat, lamb, beef, and chicken) and vegetarian dishes, including gluten free and vegan choices. We had the traditional Mosob banquet – half a dozen different mains served on a communal plate with traditional injera bread. Our two children (aged three and one) also enjoyed trying everything, although the older girl (the fussier eater) did find some dishes had too much “zing” for her. No worries – the staff had provided extra rice and bread for our little ones.
We didn’t have entrees. I suspect that most diners would be satisfied with just the mains though – I noticed the only dessert eaters at our table were the two pregnant women, and the kids. This was a table full of usually big eaters, so I was surprised! It’s worth leaving dessert room – they have a huge selection of home-made ice cream, gelato and sorbet. Madame Three just about had a melt-down over a craving for vanilla ice cream (the only flavour they don’t do), but was happy to clean up a bowl of pineapple and coconut cream sorbet. I could have had seconds on the triple choc chip ice cream (possibly because my one year old ate half of it).
Ethiopia Down Under are BYO (I don’t think they charged us corkage). They also make their own lemonade and ginger beer – very nice! To round off your dinner, their coffee is fair trade – direct from the farmers in Ethiopia. They also sell coffee by the kilo (beans or ground).
For a banquet main, dessert, and lemonade, expect to pay around $35 per adult (they didn’t charge for the kids at the banquet – three year olds don’t eat much). This food would be well-suited to take-away too – being mostly slow-cooked dishes, it would travel home just fine.