Friday, 5 August 2016

Saba's Ethiopian Restaurant

Located in Fitzroy, Saba's Ethiopian Restaurant made its name by humbly serving only traditional Ethiopian dishes. It was the first time TwoPaperPen tasted traditional Ethiopian food and we gladly opened our taste palette to a new cuisine. The dining area is decorated with woven basket and painted lanterns to set a traditional vibe. As we entered the restaurant and set to dine, we had a little introduction to Ethiopian cuisine. We had their Vegetarian Combination and Dorho Sebhi.
Decorative Woven Basket
While waiting of the food, we have the Black Spiced Tea and the White Spiced Tea. It was really fragrance and perfect for the cold weather. 
Black Spiced Tea (L) & White Spiced Tea (R)
Our meal came in this colourful woven basket. How exciting!
The meal is served with an embroidered basket
What's in the basket? Well, it's injera! It is a fermented flat bread made out of teff and it's a national dish in Ethiopia.
Injera - A fermented flat bread made out of teff. 
We watched as the stews were being poured on top of the injera. Firstly, we had their Dorho Sebhi for the meat dish. It's a slow-cooked chicken with lots of sauce served with hard boiled egg. For the Vegetarian Combination, we were served with 3 of their vegetarian dishes; Dinish, Hamli and Foul. Dinish consists of potatoes, cabbage, carrots cooked in turmeric and other mild spices; the hamli is Chinese broccoli dish sautéed with garlic and ginger; foul is stewed fava beans in spices, topped with feta cheese, sliced boiled eggs.
1 meat dish and 3 vegetarian dishes
We love the taste of the meat and vegetarian dishes with the injera especially when it was soaked with the gravy from the meat dish. The whole fermented taste from the injera balances the spices from each stew. It was really flavourful and our taste butts were definitely entertained. Both of us agreed that the meat dish was the star of the meal. The meat was so tender and easy to peel. The vegetarian dishes were wonderfully spiced as well; hamli and foul were our favourites.
Best eaten while it's still warm and steamy
Ethiopian food is made to share and enjoy by hand. We were offered cutlery but we decided to use our bare hands, no doubt we came for the traditional Ethiopian experience. 
No cutlery needed! We want the whole authentic experience, which is to eat with our hands 
Painted Lanterns narrating the coffee ceremony
While waiting for our meal, we had the opportunity to watch the coffee ceremony. What a treat!
Traditional Coffee Ceremony
The green coffee beans need to be roasted until it turn dark in colour. 
Roasting the green coffee bean
The coffee beans continued to be stirred until the chaff separates from the beans. Chaff is the skin that covers the green coffee bean. 
The beans are constantly stirred
Now the coffee beans are roasted, it need to be quickly process for brewing. It is important that the coffee beans are not burnt. 
Aromatic smoke from the roasted beans
The coffee was brewed in a Jebena (a clay pottery use to brew the coffee) and after a few minutes, it will be poured into tiny cups called the Finjal (a handless cup where the brewed coffee will be served during the coffee ceremony)
Brewed coffee was poured out from a jebena
The coffee was fragrance and strong in flavour. What a way to end our meal; a true Ethiopian experience. We would love to come back for more vegetarian and meat dishes.
Coffee was served with finjal 
Saba's Ethiopian Restaurant
328 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Melbourne VIC 3065
Tuesday: 5:30pm - 10:30pm
Wednesday - Sunday: 12pm - 3pm, 5:30pm - 10:30pm
Saba's Ethiopian Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato