Friday, January 22, 2010

When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion (Ethiopian quote)

We have not had a proper girls night since we all arrived back from South-Africa and Wednesday night was it. The chosen location was the enchanting Addis in Dar, an Ethiopian restaurant in town. When I arrived in Tanzania it was one of the 1st places Desert Rose and Impi introduced me to and I am still a little in love with everything about it!

The hunter (a big guy!) used to say that he loves the place but can’t go there as he usually breaks something. This always makes me smile when I walk onto the patio where the small tables and chairs are arranged in tight little circles and the whole place is dotted with beautiful but flimsy candleholders. The ambiance is magical – sitting under the tropical sky, the air thick with exotic spices one cannot help but feel transported away from the Dar night traffic.

After a serious debate about instant attraction/overwhelming lust/head over heels VS. friendship/tentative 1st kisses/being in love we decided to order. The discussion about what to order nearly topped the above-mentioned conversation, but in the end we had before us a feast of spicy flavour!

The best part about Addis (in my opinion) is that you eat with your hands. There is something so good, so sensual, so real about that! We scooped up dora wat (a traditional chicken dish complete with boiled egg), spicy prawns, sega with kibe (lamb in butter sauce with more than 20 spices) and ricotta and spinach with our rolls of injera. Injera is a pancake like sourdough flat bread made from rice flour. Most of the dishes are spicy, or like Hibiscus discovered with the siga berbere (beef with a sauce of red chili and garlic) VERY fucking spicy – her words! When you have finished the different dishes the best part remains. All of this is served on a big round injera, which has by now soaked up all of the different flavours and sauces. Which is what we then proceeded to devour!

How do you end such a lovely meal? With some of the best coffee around I tell you! Coffee originated in Ethiopia and the drink comes with a certain ceremony. It is served in a beautiful pot (traditionally a clay pot) together with a coal of frankincense that lingers and fills the air with aromatic promises. You have to drink the coffee black and sweet – delicious! And of course there is popcorn! I am yet to find out if this is a traditional Ethiopian custom or just because we all love popcorn so much! A complete traditional coffee drinking ceremony has three rounds, but we stopped after one, smiling and satisfied.

And even now, at the end of a lovely dinner, the temptations are not over! As you leave the restaurant, there is glass cabinet containing the most beautiful silver jewelry. I have on two occasions, when wine dulls the financial senses, succumbed to a pair of magnificent earrings.

It was a lovely start to the year! Seeing the girls, having wine, eating great food, laughing lots and loudly! I am sure you will find the setting equally lovely and if you go with special friends like I did, equally wonderful!

Addis in Dar: Ursino 35, off Migombani Street, Dar es Salaam

+255 713266299


P.S...for those of you who will never make it to Dar there is a Addis in Cape Town, so enjoy!

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