I remember reading about Abyssinia a few months ago and knew I had to try them out. This place definitely qualifies as a hidden gem. Unassuming, Abyssinia blends in with the rest of it’s surroundings. But don’t let that deter you, there is magic awaiting once you step through their doors.
I’ve visited twice now – both times on a Monday evening and it’s been pretty empty save for two or three tables. We may have ordered similar things both times, oops. The interior is warm and inviting, it looks like the inside of someone’s house, but their outside patio would be the perfect spot to chill outside and enjoy some good eats during the summer time. The waitress is very friendly and more than willing to help first timers (she showed us the proper technique of grabbing multiple things with one piece of injera).
Yebeg tibs ($17.00), bozena shiro ($16.00) and veggie platter ($15.00)
Tender chopped lamb sautéed with onion, tomato and jalapeno and served with awaze (a side of Ethiopian hot sauce). We went with spicy, which I highly recommend. Just a hint of heat to it but packed with so much flavour. The lamb was tender and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. Be prepared to eat with your hands! Super fun and a nice change of pace from the norm.
The bozena shiro consists of ground chickpea sauce seasoned with garlic, onion and ginger cooked with tender pieces of beef. This one our waitress suggested and we found out it’s a dish that is served during special occasions. The shiro was a nice contrast to the yebeg tibs as the sauce was thicker, almost stew like. Both were good but the yebeg tibs definitely wins out.
The veggie combo consists of five dishes – kei misir wot (spicy lentils), gomen (collard greens), tikel gomen (cabbage), fosolia (green beans, carrots and potatoes), and kik wot (chickpeas). Both dishes come with injera (sourdough flatbread) and a side salad. The injera is quite different from anything I’ve eaten. On it’s own, it has a sour taste (from the teff flour used to make it) but compliments the food beautifully.
Make sure to check out their Wednesday/Friday vegetarian buffets ($15.00) or Saturday meat buffets ($20.00). Super reasonable and if it’s anything like our dinners, I’ll bet everything is even more delicious. Just look for the Italian Centre (in Little Italy) and walk south from there. You can’t miss it.
Abyssinia Restaurant & Bar
10810 – 95 Street