The Abyssinian

May 30, 2011

Last Tuesday night, I met the fabulous Carly from Tune into Radio Carly for a delightful dinner. I do so love a mid-week dinner outing – it breaks up the working week and is a nice treat to look forward to. After posting about my foray into Footscray, where I first tried African food with Deb, Carly suggested we visit one of her favourite African restaurants in Kensington, The Abyssinian.

Many people had been singing the praises of this popular restaurant, and I can see why. The food was wonderful! As was the company. We chatted for three hours about absolutely everything. Blogging, food, work, friends, family, life and love. Carly is so vibrant, she’s such great company. I can’t wait for our next catch up!

We ordered the Melanzany to start, which was absolutely delicious. These cubes of eggplant were marinated in garlic and chilli, and cooked in a generous amount of oil. They were so yummy – super crisp edges, with a lovely soft flesh and a rich flavour that was overall not too oily. Together with the injera bread, it was a completely scrumptious combination – very moreish!

The injera bread was nice, however I found it to be a little too thin for my preference. Granted I am no expert on injera, after only two eating experiences! However I favoured the injera at Cafe Lalibela , as it didn’t become as soggy upon lingered contact with the wet dishes, which was my problem with The Abyssinian’s injera. Overly soggy injera is not all that delicious.

For our mains we shared two dishes…

Kitfo – raw, marinated beef. Carly recommended we order this dish, and I’m so pleased she did, as the rich flavour of the mitmita marinade was absolutely delicious.

Derek Tibs – marinated lamb pieces with chilli, onion and rosemary. The lamb was a little dry but really tasty nonetheless. I adored the flavour of the marinade, it was so beautiful, and the charred pieces of sticky onion were just delicious. The eggplant was my favourite dish, but this lamb was a very close second.

Thanks, Carly, for suggesting we visit The Abyssinian. I found the food to be really delicious. The Abyssinian offers a very casual but warm dining experience, with really yummy and exciting food. It’s a great place for group dinners, with a couple of long tables. I can’t wait to go back there and try more dishes!

For our second date, Carly and I are thinking we’ll try out Miss Chu. Duck rice paper roll goodness, here we come! (check out Carly’s post about our dinner here).

Heidi xo
  • Michelle Chin May 30, 2011 at 7:35 am

    I always thought of giving this place a try! πŸ™

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella May 30, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Carly is lovely isn't she! I've never met her IRL but have chatted via blog. Looks like you had a lovely dinner! πŸ™‚

  • Lisa May 30, 2011 at 9:54 am

    I've only recently discovered Ethiopian food – it is just wonderful isn't it. After reading this post I'm craving it, must head to the much less exotically named "Ethiopia Down Under" soon.

  • Hannah May 30, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Wheeee! I went to the Abyssinian (with fellow bloggers too!) in December last year. We ordered two of the combination platters between seven of us, finished every skerrick off, and rolled out in large amounts of pain. So worth it.

  • Indie.Tea May 30, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    It sounds phenomenal. Since I've been reading Australian blogs, I can't help but notice that you buys have some really excellent restaurants out there.

  • Heidi May 30, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Michelle – oh no, why the sad face?! Do give it a try!

    Lorraine – Carly is amazing, I adore her πŸ™‚ & yes it was a great dinner!

    Lisa – haha, kind of, no definitely less exotically named – still yummy I'm sure πŸ˜‰

    Hannah – completely πŸ™‚

    Indie.Tea – yes we've got a bit of an African influence in a number of suburbs around Melbourne. & then there is the huge Asian influence, Vietnamese being a standout. & of course Greek and Italian. We're quite lucky here!

    Heidi xo

  • denitamudge2014 May 30, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    I love the Abyssinian! Such delicious food and warm, social environment. The eggplant you ordered sounds incredible! xx

  • siggysparkle May 30, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Sounds lovely! I've been to an African restaurant in Brunswick and ever since have been dying to try it again πŸ™‚ This place seems like it's really good!

    Btw – have been reading for a while and have been loving ur posts on Vietnam in particular. Am in Hong Kong atm for work and travelling to Vietnam for 2 weeks in August once work is done. Your posts have sealed it for me that that place is amazing….the food especially! Can't wait!

  • Carly Findlay May 30, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Thanks so much for the lovely post Heidi πŸ™‚ I enjoyed your company + cant wait for Miss Chu's.

    And Lorraine – you're so kind!


  • Heidi May 30, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    De – you'd loved the eggplant! I remember you said you liked this place. Do they have anything like it in PC? Maybe next to the Japanese place, or was it the Iraqi one?

    siggysparkle – wow, have fun!! That is very very exciting. I'm so pleased you've enjoyed my Vietnam posts. You must be having loads of fun in HK too!

    Carly – yes let's book it in in the few weeks!

    Heidi xo

  • InTolerant Chef May 30, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    The eggplant dish looks the yummiest. I love trying new dishes, lucky you!

  • Hannah May 31, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Oh I love reading Carly's blog, this looks like so much fun! Eggplant dish sounds totally delicious, I wish I knew how to use/cook eggplant better!! Nice pants btw Heidi πŸ˜‰
    Hannah x

  • Ashley May 31, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Ooh, this looks so interesting, I remember recommending it to a friend who was looking for an African restaurant..based off it's urbanspoon reviews! WIll have to visit sometime! πŸ™‚

  • Adrian in Food Rehab May 31, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    This place is great- been there several times and had my birthday there. My friends and I had heaps of fun dipping away with the injera bread. The dΓ©cor also rocks!

  • Heidi May 31, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    InTolerant Chef – yes it was amazing πŸ™‚

    Hannah – thanks! I love them – hand me downs from my mum πŸ™‚

    Ashley – yes you must, it's delicious!

    Adrian – haha, doesn't it, so kitsch and fabulous!

    Heidi xo

  • Iron Chef Shellie May 31, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    love this place. only been once… should really go again!

  • Sherilyn @ Wholepromise May 31, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Sounds like a great place dine! The eggplant dish sounds very enticing.

  • msihua May 31, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Great.. I've always wanted to find out more about this place! Yayy!

  • chutneyandspice June 1, 2011 at 3:57 am

    Hi Heidi, that looked like a fun meal! You do such exotic things. I've posted a link to your Vietnam on my latest post, hope thats ok! It was all about street food as I made a pork pie, and I was really inspired by your Vietnam 2 parter.

  • Kath (My Funny Little Life) June 1, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I'm not experienced with African cuisine very much, but this looks gorgeous! I'm happy you had such a wonderful evening, and lovely company as well! πŸ˜€

  • Anna Johnston June 1, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Thanks for introducing me to Carly, I have just spent a happy half hour perusing her awesomeness πŸ™‚ Looks like a wonderful evening filled with great African food Heidi, a fabulous experience methinks πŸ™‚

  • Heidi June 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Michele – yes you should!

    Sherilyn – oooh yes it was πŸ™‚

    Msihua – oh good!

    chutneyandspice – how lovely, that's great! I'll check it out πŸ™‚

    Kath – thanks, it was really lovely πŸ™‚

    Anna – oh you're welcome! She's wonderful, isn't she? It was a great night!

    Heidi xo