Sunday, 24 January 2016

Harambe Ethiopian Restaurant: finger lickin' good

The first time I had Ethiopian food was in Montreal and it was at a restaurant called Nil Bleu (Blue Nile). I left the restaurant with such a positive impression of Ethiopian cuisine because it was finger lickin' good. If you order a platter, it will come with a huge dish with variety of different options. I always opted for the meat option but I generally found the veggies to be extremely tasty as well. The 2nd time I had Ethiopian food was in Kenya and of course it was as good as I remembered it to be. 

Recently,I was meeting up with some of the girls I went to Kenya with and we really wanted to go to an East African restaurant. We weren't aware of any Kenyan restaurants in Vancouver so we decided to try Harambe Ethiopian restaurant on Commercial Drive. 

I was the first one to arrive and when I opened the door, I was welcomed by a friendly waitress. The place was quite empty and it was a lot smaller than I had anticipated. The tables and the setup was slightly tacky but I didn't want to judge the place without trying the food first. 

One thing I did really appreciate was the art work that was all around the restaurant. It was colourful and very pleasing to the eye!

There were many individual dishes but I went right to the back of the menu to see the platters. The choice was between meat vs. vegetarian. The waitress told us that the meat platter came with everything that was on the vegetarian platter so we decided to go with the meat platter. The meat choices were chicken, beef and lamb. It was $39.99 for 3 people.

After 15 minutes, we were presented with this!! There were no utensils on the table (I am sure they will provide them to you if you asked) so we decided to dig in using our hands.  We got corn, lentils, potatoes, and cabbage. I am not sure what the green stuff was. Kale maybe? It would've been nice for them to describe each thing for us.

If you've never tried Ethiopian food, it usually comes with injera (read more on Wikipedia HERE). Injera is "a sourdough risen flatbread". I wouldn't really call it a flatbread because the texture is spongy and the thickness is in between a crepe and a pancake. If you're scared of tiny holes (trypophobia), these are probably your worst nightmare. It's extremely easy to pick up food with injera without getting your hands too messy. This reminded me of good old days of eating chapatti every day in Kenya.

The overall experience was fantastic! The owner of the restaurant was quite funny and friendly. We left two drum sticks till the end he came to us and said "Come on, the chickens are crying saying "eat me!""We laughed and then two of us ate the chicken (I wish there were 3 so all of us could try one). The meat fell off the bone easily and it was moist and delicious. The owner also made sure our water glasses were always full.

The food was extremely flavourful with a bit of a kick. I especially loved the lentils because of the spiciness. It would've been nice to have something crunchy with it but overall, the flavours were finger lickin' good! It was also fun to get our hands messy through our dinner.This is my 3rd time trying Ethiopian food and I've enjoyed all of my experiences thoroughly. It would be great if people got more exposure to restaurants like this. In Vancouver, we have a ton of Asian, American and European places but existence of other cuisines aren't as common. If you've never tried Ethiopian food, please go and try it if you're craving for a new experience.

Harambe Ethiopian Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato



Post a Comment