Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Habesha @ Seattle

It was the New Year's Eve and for a change we wanted to dine at a less crowded restaurant. A quiet dinner with no prix fixe menu yet good food, preferably something we haven't eaten in a while, stylish ambiance and good service were some of our requirements. Ethiopian cuisine came to mind. An Ethiopian  cabbie had once suggested trying Habesha. Yelp reviews were scanned and just to be on the safe side, dinner reservations were made.

The first thing I noticed on entering the restaurant was the dimly lit ambiance! And the red brick walls. Are you sure it was an Ethiopian restaurant? No, I don't mean it that way; some of the best Ethiopian food I have had, has been in dingy little restaurants with the TV and Radio blaring at the same time. Habesha gives you a completely different experience. Very clean, good service and they have a bar as well as a lounge.

For appetizer, we passed on the usual Sambusa and instead, ordered the Kategna - An Injera toasted until crisp and coated with berbere and nitir kibe (Ethiopian butter). Berebere is an Ethiopian/Eritrean spice mixture whose ingredients usually include chile peppers, ginger, cloves, coriander, allspice, rue berries, and ajwain. It was spicy and delicious. Never had this before.

Kategna @ Habesha
For the main course, we got the usual Veggie Combo that came with six veggie sides and one salad and an Injera for each of us.
Missir Wot -Split red lentils stewed in onions, olive oil and their own spicy red sauce.
Kike - Split yellow peas prepared with onions, garlic, ginger and turmeric
Shiro Wot - Ground peas, spiced with berbere, seasoned with onions, garlic and ginger
Bamiyan - Fresh cut okra mixed with their spicy homemade sauce.
Gomen - A delicious medley of spinach sauteed in olive oil, garlic, onions and fresh ground spices
Atikilt - Mixed vegetables, cabbage, carrot, potatoes and onions sauteed in a blend of exotic herbs.

Veggie Combo @ Habesha
Ethiopians eat with their right hands, using pieces of injera to pick up bites of entrées and side dishes. No utensils are used.

It was plenty of food. We were so stuffed in the end. I liked all the sides except Missir Wot, which tasted very raw. We had asked for it to be made spicy and it was made just right. A asked for an Ethiopian coffee, but they were out of it. Another time. Habesha is easily accessible, has good food and though it looks a little upscale, prices are at par with other Ethiopian restaurants in the area. I think I'll go here if I crave Ethiopian again.

Habesha Ethiopian Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Dishfinders said...

That sounds like a wonderful New Year's Eve experience. I have never eaten Ethiopian, but I think I'd get a taste for it. It sounds divine! Would you consider sharing your thoughts and photos from that night with our food community at dishfinders.com ?

Kiki said...

@Dishfinders - Yes, Ethiopian cuisine is quite similar to Indian....very delicious. Sure, I would love to share my review at dish finders.com. Should I post a link to my blog or write a review.

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