We all know our favourite Australian-fusion cuisines which seem to have migrated together to influence menu’s all over the country. But how about the Ethopian cuisine? Definitely no existing fusion that im aware of! I knew there was no way I was going to recognise a dish on the menu and THAT’S what I was most excited for. A new food adventure, and what an incredibly enlightening and pleasant experience it was.
Located in Moorooka, Made in Africa provided one of the most authentic food experiences I have ever had. The menu was a delight in itself – I recognised nothing, it was perfect. When you visit (which I sincerely hope you do) and you end up in the same situation, don’t worry its okay, you have two options: 1) close your eyes point your finger and try the dish, its guaranteed to be delightful or 2) Ask the beautifully kind owner, Tesfaye, for help.
Tesfaye is passionate about his home country, his food and his tradition so he will be more than willing and able to help. His recommendation for us was to try the Tasting Platter combinations, designed for groups of 2+. This Tasting Platter can come as a single main option, or you can choose to have it with entrees, desert and coffee. We opted for entrée-main option which included a selection of traditional vegetarian and meat filled somosas, followed by our main meal which was essentially 8 different dishes all in one (insert emoji with love hearts in eyes).
The 8 different dishes ranged from mild to spicy with a variation of meat and vegetable dishes – Im going to let the picture talk for itself but guarantee that every single mouthful was amazing. Upon serving, Tesafaye will explain to you which dishes are on the plate so you will know where to dive in first!
The dishes are served on a traditional sourdough flatbread called Injera. THIS was the best part of my night, my gosh the flavour and texture was just the best.thing.ever.! Injera is made the day before as it undergoes a fermentation process (hello, good gut health!) before being cooked up to serve! Its like a big flat, sourdough crepe and it will make you want to move to Etheopea. My other favourite dish on the plate was the stewed collard and KALE! Yep, KALE! Its one of the Ethiopian’s favourite ingredient to use in their vegetarian dishes – so kale and sourdough, I was literally in health food heaven.
If you are a vegetarian then Made in Africa is definitely somewhere you need to visit. You see, as Tesfaye will explain, it is tradition that Ethiopians to have up to 7 fasting periods throughout the year where they essentially turn vegan. This means that they have plenty of experience with making the most of these times and their allowed ingredients, so fortunately for vegans and vegetarians, their meat-free dishes are seriously amazing! Their vegetarian section has just as many (if not more) items on it as the chicken, pork and beef subheadings, so you definitely wont be limited in options!
The meals are all flavoured with traditionally made herb and spice blends, and the restaurant is moving towards the more traditional approach of sun-drying their own herbs! So you really do know what your eating and where your food is coming from when there is such an authentic approach!
Well, what came next? Coffee of course! In case you didnt know already, Ethiopia is actually the home of the coffee bean. The people of Ethiopian know their coffee, and as such significantly value and respect the taste and the process of creating the perfect brew. During a Coffee Ceremony, your host will roast, grid and brew the traditional Ethiopian beans for you, before serving the uniquely flavoured coffee from a clay “Jebena”. The coffee set that is served for the Ceremony is made of such beautiful, patterns and textures, absolutely adorable. The ceremony itself is just as beautiful, the taste of the coffee is incredibly rich and unique and the whole dining experience is a true reflection of the traditional generosity of the Ethiopian culture.
Made in Africa aims to keep everything traditional for the most pleasurable experience! They have traditional serving tables which are embedded in cane baskets available for special ceremonies and they also host more traditional coffee and food ceremonies over the weekend/at the appropriate times. The décor is stunning and captivating as well! The unfamiliarity of the experience was what left me clueless for expectations, however I walked out of the restaurant feeling completely satisfied and grateful for such an amazing time and such delicious food.
Takeaway menu is also available!
End of Ranchhod Arcade,
Shop 8-10/ 197-201 Beaudesert Road,
Moorooka, QLD 4105
Phone: (07) 3848 6759
Monday 11am – 6pm,
Tuesday to Friday 11am-9pm,
Saturday 10am to 10pm and Sunday 12pm- 9pm
All information is available from the website: http://www.ethiopianrestaurant.com.au