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Off The Eaten Track - A taste of Ethiopia in North Strand

By Alan Fisher

November 6, 2019 at 5:07pm

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Welcome to our 'Off The Eaten Track' series where we are currently discovering the best-hidden gems of Dublin dining.

Maybe, they are tucked away in a corner that you can't see them, maybe they don't get the publicity like some places get or maybe, like the place I got to check out this week, they take over a little cafe in North Strand on a Friday and Saturday night.

Say hello to the Ethiopian Supper Club, Gursha, that's open on Friday and Saturday nights in Cloud cafe:

Seriously, this was probably my favorite dining experience in Dublin so far and for a couple of reasons.

I loved the way I felt like I was back on my travels while eating here. All the food comes on a large sourdough pancake type bread called Injera.

With this, you dive in with your hands and you can use the bread as a utensil to pick up the food.

This pancake type bread is made from the smallest grain in the world, Teff and takes 2-3 days to make. On top of that, it's packed with goodness as it's got twice the fibre as brown rice, five times more iron than wheat and higher in protein than quinoa. In fact, all of their main dishes are gluten-free.

It's really refreshing getting used to different cultural habits and maybe, just a little bit out of your comfort zone.

On this gigantic pancake, I got to taste a bit of everything. They recommend you get one of these trays with everything on it to share between 2/3 people but up to five people can enjoy the one tray.

Six out of their nine dishes are suitable for vegans. The reason behind this is that Ethiopia has roughly 200 days out of the year where they can not eat meat due to the Orthodox Catholic Church.

So what was on the menu.

First up, and my favorite, was Doro Wat. This is the national dish of Ethiopia. A slow-cooked, onion-based chicken stew that comes with a helping of cottage cheese, used to tackle the hot Berbere spice it's cooked in.

It wasn't too spicy for anyone who doesn't like the spice and they are working on you being able to pick how spicy you want it.

The minute I picked up the chicken to take a bite, it literally fell off the bone and it was extremely tender.

Next up was a delicious trio of cabbage, carrots, and potatoes simmered in garlic and onions called Alicha and Keysir which is fresh beetroot, potatoes, and onions mixed in ginger.

One of the crowd favorites, so I hear, is the Misir Wat, which is a Red Lentil dish mixed in Berbere spice and caramelised onion.

On to dessert, which was a family-made warm chocolate brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, drizzled with a caramel dressing. It was honestly one of the best brownies I've ever tasted.

Now onto coffee, and this is an experience in itself.

They roast the coffee beans right in front of you on a little pan. The aroma of the coffee roasting is to soothe the spirit and they also light incense at the same time to drive away bad spirits.

They then grind up the beans and serve the coffee from a Jebena, which is the clay pot you can see in the video.

The entire experience from start to finish in Gursha was amazing. The guys who run it and everyone who works there are extremely passionate, friendly and love getting into the details about the different traditions if you ask.

It wasn't just going out for a meal, it was a wonderful experience topped with delicious food.

As mentioned, they currently only open in Cloud Cafe on Friday and Saturday nights but hopefully they will get a permanent location if things keep going well.

 

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