There is a recent trend of Ethiopian restaurants opening around town. The latest is Addisaba at 9 Hahavatzelet Street.
The space is lovely and large with Ethiopian art along the walls. Enoch, the owner, explained to me how to order and recommended the vegetarian beyaayentu. This is what I got:
Dollops of five different vegan stews – three lentil, one spinach and one mixed vegetables – sit on top of an injera, the large pita-like bread. And how do you eat it? You tear off a piece of injera and mop up the stews with it. Yes, with your hands.
While taking in the exotic flavors – the injera is slightly sour and each stew has its unique seasonings with quite a bit of spice here and there – Sara, Enoch’s wife, came and sat down with me. Both husband and wife were born in Ethiopia but have been in Israel for many years. Sara, a registered nurse, has been living in Jerusalem – a city she loves with all her heart – since she was seven years old.
She explained to me the many health benefits of Ethiopian food. Injera, the main bread used in Ethiopia, is made from teff, a grain which is gluten free and low in carbs. and it’s a sour dough which means it gets those “pockets” from the fermentation of naturally occurring yeast.
The restaurant is meat-vegetarian with no dairy and the vegetarian dish I had is completely vegan, not to mention that everything is made of natural ingredients.
And there must be something healthy – at least emotionally – about eating with your hands.
I asked Sara about the artwork hung up all around the restaurant and she pointed at different pieces explaining that there are 84 languages in Ethiopia and many different cultures and ways of living – from hut villages, to salt land to cities – and they wanted to get across, on the one hand the multiculturalism of Ethiopia while at the same time, the joint customs that are shared by all across the country.
Namely? Tea drinking. There are special tea ceremonies and the restaurant has a sweet display of a table set for tea. Here are Sara and Enoch modeling the tea corner for me:
There are both vegetarian and meat dishes. For example the guy next to me ordered the tibes:
After he spread out the injera and poured the meat on top, he invited me to partake with him. (I’m assuming this isn’t a normal occurance, though it seemed like a normal thing to do.)
Addisaba was opened by Enoch and Sara in December 2015. It is a meat-vegetarian restaurant. So if you’re looking for a completely different culinary experience, not to mention a healthy one, Addisaba is definitley a place to try.
The beyaayenetu was 40 NIS.