The first time I had Ethiopian food was at Meskerem, that is just few steps from Queen of Sheba! As I explained in my post on Meskerem, we decided to try after hearing my cousin Jessica talk about the wonderful experience she had in an Ethiopian restaurant in New Jersey. We were also excited to try as we followed Marcus Samuelson during his appearance on Top Chef Master, where he tried sometimes to showcase some Ethiopian flavors.
So, if you do not like eat get your hands dirty, this is not the restaurant for you, although I am sure you can ask for a fork...But then you would miss the experience!
Jodi ordered the Sheba Vegetarian combination plate.
- Misir Wot: split lentils stewed with onion, garlic and blend of mild ethiopian herbs.
- Ater Kik Alecha: split pea cooked in onion, garlic and olive oil, mild yellow dish with a touch of turmeric and subtle blend of herbs and spices. It reminded me of yellow dal in Indian cuisine.
- Shiro: split peas milled together with a blend of berbere, herbs and onions, slow-cooked into a creamy dip.
- Shimbra Asa: chick peas flour molded dumpling style sauteed and cooked in berbere sauce.
- Gomen Wot: finely chopped collard greens cooked in their own steam with mild seasonings and olive oil. This was pretty good and well cooked as the collard greens were not bitter at all.
- Atakilt Wot: fresh string beans and long cut carrot cooked in tomato sauce with our rich blend of seasonings. This was just ok for me: the veggies were undercooked.
- Cabbage Wot: cabbage, potato and carrot cooked with onion and garlic, with a touch of turmeric.
On my side, I ordered the Taste of Sheba combination dish.
It was composed of:
- Yebeg Wot: freshly made lamb stew.
- Yebeg Alicha: a mild stew of diced and on-the-bone lamb.
- Tibs Wot: dices of lean beef seared on hot skillet then slow cooked in a hot berbere stew.
- Menchet Abesh Wot: lean beef grounded and cooked in mild green pepper sauce, red wine and jalapeno and seasoned with ginger and garlic.
- Menchet Abesh Alecha: lean beef grounded and cooked in mild sauce and jalapeno and seasoned with ginger and garlic.
- Zilzil Tibs: beef marinated in awaze, olive oil, red wine and stir fried with onions.
- Gomen Besiga: marbled cuts of beef slow-cooked in a mild onions sauce with chopped collard greens. garlic and blend of alicha seasonings
The best was the Yebeg Wot. Otherwise, I found the meat to be tough. I even think that I preferred the vegetarian platter!!! Go figure!
All of this was of course served with Injera that you use as your utensil to eat. It was pretty good.
There was definitely lots of unusual flavors. I liked the experience, but I guess this is not the type of food I would crave, contrary to Indian for instance.
Enjoy (I did)!