Monday, August 06, 2007

The Horn

Introduction: An African Cafe Music Lounge at 20 Johnston St. Collingwood. Opened less than a month ago by Peter, a professional saxophonist, and his wife Enushu a singer, this is my second experience of Ethiopian food.
Ambience: This is a very small restaurant and would vary in ambience considerably depending on the clientelle. Simply furnished with plain small wooden tables that can be pushed together for groups. A few small artifacts and brightly dyed curtains give it the "African" colour

Service: Extremely personal and sincere - our waiter being the proprieter.

Food: An experience. Between ten of us I think we ate through almost the entire menu and what a pleasure it was. We began with samosa's. Served with a sort of mild tomato chutney the lamb samosa's are filled with minced lamb and black lentils fill the vegetarian samosas they were a reasonable size and very tasty.

Ethiopians traditionally eat with the right hand, tearing off pieces of injera, a sort of large flat round slightly yeasty bread, and scooping up food in the injera.

It takes 3 minutes to make a round of injera on this electricly heated ceramic pan

A large plate with a salad on one side and a rolled up piece of injera duly arrived followed by a variety of dishes in small tureens. There are both vegetarian (dairy free) and carnavorian stews at around $13 to $18/ dish.
We had a red lentil stew, a split pea stew, a vegetable and dahl combination, a red beef stew, a lamb stew and a free range chicken dish. All these had a variety of traditional spices as well as familiar garlic, chilli and ginger. None of the dishes were excessively hot and I will be happy to come back and have them again. Unfortunately I found the injera rather tasteless ad it might have been nicer if it had been warm.
The dessert - Boola Surprise, mae from ground banna tree root is a creation of Enushu. Rather sweet it is served in a large cup. Layered with a sort of creamy mousse, biscuit and topped with a dash ofhoney and nuts it's just the thing for a sweet tooth!
Wine: fully liceced or BYO The house reds ($29), a shiraz which was just OK and acab/sav which I disliked encourage me to bring my own. Corkage $2

Price: Around $25/ head plus drinks gets a pretty solid meal

Comments: They're doing all sorts of things to get this place going including live Jazz Thursday nights,

Coffee ceremonies 1.00 to 3.00 pm Sat and Sun, where green coffee beans are washed and roasted, ground and infused with jebena. Pay by donation with 50% going to an Ethiopian charity and traditional skista dance nights and competitions.

Score: 13.75/20


Anonymous said...

My partner and I ate at The Horn about 3 months ago, adn while it won't win any decor awards, the food was fabulous and very filling.

Service was friendly and quick.

We sought the waitress's advice and we ordered small dishes of meat and the thin pancake. We tipped the meat onto the pancake and used it to scoop up the meat.

With a nice cold beer, the food was very nice and very good value for money.

Definitely worth a visit.

Elliot said...