The new food paradigm has come to my shores.
First it was sushi. Then for a time it was butter chicken and by extension, Indian food. After a brief dabble in italian, I've found my new obsession: Ethiopian food.
I made plans with a girlfriend to go to a buffet at a well-known restaurant here in Edmonton called Langano skies because, well, I'd follow her anywhere, and if there was food at the end, even better. I was not expecting to be so thoroughly blown away!
Although the buffet had been cancelled for that evening, we stayed anyway. Since the food arrives in large woven baskets on a communal plate we ordered three dishes and figured we'd share equitably, taking the leftovers home.
I also, in defence for my night shift ordered a traditional coffee, which I unfortunately felt would be better served down the front of my pants. Yup. Just tipped that sucker right down there. The second cup went over nicer, har har, and I heartily recommend it to all coffee drinkers, albeit with cream and sugar if you aren't a manaiac.
The three dishes we ordered arrived soon after, really hot, and with rolls of fluffy (I mean serious fluff) crepes to consume it with. There are no utensils, you use the crepes to pick up the food, which is usually sauce heavy, and transfer it to your mouth.
My favorite was a chopped spinich dish called Gomen wot that was served with cooked cottage cheese, Ayib. Although I have usually hated spinich, the flavour and the garlic it was cooked with and incredibly predominant and even heighten the odd taste of spinich, working with the strange taste to make it not just palatable, but frankly, fantastic! The cooked cottage cheese added a strange depth of salt to the
lemon-tasting spinich, to round everything out.
My next favorite was a yellow split-pea dish, seasoned with curry, Ater kik aletcha wot; it was very similar to regular curry but without that strange soap taste that some people enjoy and non-curry eaters hate most. very pleasant, it tasted lemon-seasoned as well; one of the best things about Ethiopian food is that everything seems to complement really nicely. My girlfriend and I started eating everything seperately but by the end it was a mess.
The final dish which I enjoyed least, but still heartily consumed, was a spicy red-lentil dish called Yemisir kik wot. Now, when I say spicey, I really mean mild;
I'm a pretty big wuss when it comes to seasoning, but this only had a bit of zing.
All in all, the entire evening was so lovely that I think I'm going to
experiment with cooking Ethiopian food (I'm always looking for more ways to incorporate lentils into my diet!) so for all Edmontonians, check out langano skies,
it's worth the foray into novel cuisine.