Thursday, 9 August 2007

Gibe African Restaurant

There are times when I think I’m crazy, risking life and limb, in search of different cultural flavours. “Dandenong!?” Remembering back in the day, my high school friends from the south-eastern suburbs would exasperate. “Ain’t that the place where Jonno’s mate’s mate got chopped in a snooker hall for just glancing at the dude?” Young and impressionable, ever since then my image of the Dandy has always been one of danger danger.

So, feeling safe in the confines of my mate’s Corolla, we cruise looking for an African restaurant. The place has certainly changed since the last time I visited, the food landscape with it. A little India-town has sprouted, along with a few Afghan and middle-eastern joints. Meeting local demands for African food is Gibe African Restaurant, serving fare from Ethiopia. Stunned like an AK-47 had been pull on him (admittedly odd that two Asian fellas would venture in at 4pm on a Saturday arvo), the manager showed us to a table. Glad the menu is extremely descriptive, for my Ethiopian isn’t at conversational level. Choosing blindly a chicken and two beef dishes, upon re-reviewing the menu it was noted that the ingredients in each were pretty much the same: red onion, butter, berbere (cayenne pepper), garlic, ginger, Ethiopian spices, just cooked differently. Bad luck.

Thankfully each had its own unique flavour and texture, though appearing like dishes from other cuisines. Arriving before the mains was what I thought were refresher towels, but six for two people? No, it was enjera, best described as a sourdough crumpet pancake which is used as an eating utensil. It’s interesting, giving everything a sour accent. Tibs standard consisted of pan fried beef which was a little over done, similarly peppery to the dorro wat but more mild. Bonona Shiro, on appearances could be mistaken for a butter chicken, presented in a lovely iron cast pot and kept warm by a hot stone lacked meat. The popular dorro wat, a chicken stew looking like a rendang, was extremely flavoursome, hot and peppery in a nice blend of spices. Only wish it only came with more than just a drumstick and hard boiled egg.

I don’t fear Dandy anymore, in fact, with so much to explore, next time I won’t need to keep that night stick attached to my utility belt.

2.5 / 5 yums!


Where? 108 Foster St, Dandenong

What? Average main - $11

Left to Right : Enjera, Dorro Wat, Tibs Standard, Bonona Shiro

1 comment:

Agent 0 said...

Hey! I can't figure out if you like Ethiopian food or not... Have you tried the African cafes in Footscray? I'm not going to risk getting chopped in Dandenong for a 2.5 yums rating.
Reckon you should pay for Su's dinner! Look forward to the next restaurant review

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