Nov 24, 2010

Enssaro Ethiopian Restaurant, Lake Merritt, Oakland

Well, I recognize that I am not the most food adventurous person you will ever met. I had no idea what to expect and the only thing I had heard before was that they eat with hands, no silverware. 

To tell the truth, it was a good surprise. Guided by a good rating on Yelp (4.5 stars out of 324 reviews), we decided to give it a try. Overall, it felt to me like a similar cuisine to Indian, many vegetables, some fried pastries and a bread to follow the whole meal.

The appetizer was a very similar pastry to a samosa, vegetable-filled, crispy and seasoned lightly. The sauce was spicy and sweeter. Very good. 

It was suggested a honey wine, which for my palate was okay, a little too sweet, resembling a Canadian ice wine (a type of dessert wine). It's a Ethiopian Style Wine, it was a good experience.

As the naan is for the Indian, Injera is for the Ethiopian. Their bread is thin, looks like a spongy pancake, very light and somewhat mild flavor. The whole idea is to use the injera to serve and eat the other dishes. 

We order three dishes for three people and served family style. The presentation was a large plate with salad in the middle (by the way, very good dressing). We order the Vegetarian (Yetsome Beyaynetu), Meat Combinations (Ye Feseg Beyaynetu) and a chicken drums (Ye Doro Wot) serving. 

The food was good, full of Middle Eastern style spices and flavors. I loved a kale side and chicken breast! The service was very warm and friendly, but slow. If you plan to go, search ahead the menu and order when you arrive. It can take a long time to get your order in  (there are a lot of yelpers that comment that too). In the end, although it was worth the experience, Ethiopian cuisine is not yet on my favorite list.

More information about Enssaro:
Pictures by Rosemary Alonso

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