AFRICAN PALACE

African Palace

I occasionally get a craving for Ethiopian food, for the fragrant blend of spices but more for the spongy sheets of injera. A friend and I met up at African Palace, one of three Ethiopian restaurants in the neighbourhood and chatted over a vegetarian platter for two.

On the rare occasion I stray from my carnivore lifestyle, I don’t find myself missing meat if the meal is savoury and rich. This was the case at African Palace. For two of us, we ordered a Vegetarian Combo that came with 6 dishes and salad, served on a large round of injera and another on the side. I don’t know enough about Ethiopian cuisine to be comfortable ordering a la carte, so this was a comfortable and easy option.

Of the 6 dishes, my favourite was the Silsi (tomatoes, onions and garlic in berbere sauce) and Gomen Wot (spinach and carrot cooked with onion, garlic and ginger). Both of these dishes had strong flavours, a good hint of sour and sweetness that was enhanced by the injera. The lentil dishes were cooked to a soft texture, but not mushy. The fresh iceberg lettuce was lightly dressed with lemon juice and a refreshing palate cleanser in between bites. I found the Tikil Gomen (cabbage and carrot in mild turmeric sauce) to be the weakest feature and a touch bland. The injera was soft, porous and perfect for soaking up the many sauces.

Service at African Palace was relaxed and friendly. Walking in, I was the first customer of the evening and was invited to choose my own seat. Relative to their neighbours, I found the portions at African Palace to be smaller and the seasoning milder, but overall a more pleasant experience with no wait.

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