Abesinian Restaurant

This monster arrangement was comprised of a fawn stew of chicken and hard-boiled egg, interspersed with torn shreds of injera made sodden by the meaty juices Reviews

A broad circular tray hovered into view and descended upon the little round mesob table like a flying saucer landing on Earth for its inaugural mission. Folds of spongy, grey injera – the versatile Ethiopian flatbread made with finely ground teff flour – crumpled and bent back on itself in a doughy moonscape, underneath which several unearthly mounds of stews and sauces relaxed and slowly seeped into the bread.

Before us was a combination of dishes – a clutch of smaller delicacies orbiting around the main event, the Abesinian special agelgel. This monster arrangement was comprised of a fawn stew of chicken and hard-boiled egg, interspersed with torn shreds of injera made sodden by the meaty juices. There was a crumbling white scattering of soft cheese, a dark, rich sauce punctuated by choice morsels of pluckily spiced lamb; a fresh and piquant salad of lettuce, cucumber and tomato in a tangy lemon dressing; a sturdy mound of minced raw meat like steak tartare; and more folds of pliant injera, which was ripped from beneath it all and used to scoop everything up with. Cutlery was redundant here. Abesinian Restaurant on Somali Road is far too laid-back for the social nicety of eating with such ungainly prongs of metal as a knife and fork.

This tiny Ethiopian restaurant in the heart of Deira’s African community is where people gather around a single disc of injera the size of a cricket pitch, and dab their way through various beguiling stews or wats in a life-affirming ritual of social interaction. Here you are likely to be included in somebody else’s conversation, however impervious the cultural barrier may seem. We found that out when a deaf Yemeni man tried to tell us about his recent anatomical studies – the hand signals, high-pitched screech and maniacal giggle that accompanied his scientific musings were enough to convey his message. Indeed, a visit here is as much about filling one’s social diary as it is about filling one’s belly.

We were well and truly stuffed by the time the thick, black Ethiopian coffee – as strong and dangerous as two Mike Tysons glued together – arrived with a smouldering pot of incense. We had already added a spicy sauce as hot as the devil’s own wasabi to mouthfuls of kara mara tibs, a smouldering bowl of semi-charred lamb with onions, tomato and chilli. We’d hungrily soaked up the tangy sauce of the merek tibs, which offered bony chunks of spiced meat. We’d savoured every mouthful of the gored gored, which consisted of little more than blood-rare lamb in a spicy splash of its own juices. And we’d greedily mopped up every nugget of minced meat and every gem of soft-diced onion of the menchet abeshe, which gifted us another two boiled eggs to add to our collection.

Which is why we’ll be back to explore more authentic Ethiopian creations at Abesinian Restaurant very soon. Perhaps we’ll see you there, somewhere across the crumpled grey blankets of spongy injera.

The bill (for two)
Mineral water Dhs3
Abesinian special agelgel Dhs40
Menchet abeshe Dhs20
Kara mara tibs Dhs35
Merek tibs Dhs15
Gored gored Dhs20
Jebena buna coffee Dhs10
Total (excluding service) Dhs143


By Time Out Dubai Staff

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: Deira, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 273 7432
  • Travel: Somali Road

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Abesinian Restaurant On The Map

User reviews

ValueAmbienceService
DecorFoodOverall
  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Family friendly

User reviews:

Posted by: Ur all time lover on 17 Jun ' 13 at 13:57
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

U GUYS ARE GREAT..... I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS WONDERFUL RESTAURANT..... GREAT PPL, GREAT FOOD, GREAT SERVICES....HOMELY ENVIRONMENT......

Posted by: Zornitza on 10 Jul ' 11 at 04:48
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Really enjoyed this very traditional restaurant - wonderful food, very nice staff - the Indian fellow speaks better English than the Ethiopians. The Ethiopian coffee for desert is a must - that was the best coffee I have ever had in my life, beats the Italian one for sure. Apparently they import all ingredients from Ethiopia. Parking in the area is a bit of a problem.
I would go back any time.

Posted by: Sophia on 08 Apr ' 11 at 21:02
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Ramon on 22 Oct ' 10 at 06:25
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

After visiting restuarants in Djibouti, Africa I fell in love with Ethiopian food. I'm actually here on business and just decided to google to see if any establishments existed here and found this one with good reviews. They did not disappoint! Traditional decor, wonderful service, and excellent food! I will most definitely be back again upon my return to Dubai!

Posted by: Nick on 15 Oct ' 10 at 10:38
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

HIGHLY RECOMMEND
After walking around in circles through the neighborhood for 15 minutes, my three friends and I arrived. I have no clue what we ordered, or what we ate but the waiter was very friendly and helped by making suggestions. The food was GREAT, and the cutlery free dining experience was fun. We finished with tea and coffee, and were very happy with the total bill of 103 AED for the four of us. The decor and ambiance consisted of Ethiopian music videos and posters relating to Ethiopia. Go for delicious Ethiopian food at a very reasonable price.

Posted by: SLH on 27 Jul ' 09 at 05:09
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

It doesn't look like much from the outside, but this authentic restaurant is becoming one of my favorite Dubai secrets. I've visited twice and each time it has been excellent food and outstanding service. The Kibba Special is amazing with loads of flavor and the Tibs are tender and juicy. If you've never tried Ethiopian, don't be shy. The locals dining are happy to show you the ropes and make recommendations and may even invite you to join their table. End your dining experience with a coffee ceremony and sip their deliciously thick and creamy brew. It's a bit difficult to find parking, but well worth it and a stroll through the diverse neighborhood is a good way to walk off the healthy portion size of the meal.

Posted by: ali on 14 May ' 09 at 20:39
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

we were looking for authentic ethopian food in dubai and that's exactly what we got, except it was a lot better than what we expected! the staff were really nice and the bill was amazingly cheap.

definitely recommended

Posted by: lily on 05 Apr ' 09 at 07:52
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

the best place to be as ethiopian resturant in dubai

Posted by: lily on 17 Mar ' 09 at 01:39
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

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