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Saturday, 20 October 2012

Fekerte's @ Dickson, ACT

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As a part of the long weekend, I went away to Canberra for 2 days to see Floriade and do some random exploring with friends. Unfortunately, on the Friday we arrived there was a lot of rain (resulting in going to Questacon), and chance of a storm so the night fest was cancelled, but we were able to experience Ethiopian Food.


Fekerte's (pronounced Fur-ket-tars) is located in the main shopping area of Dickson, which apparently to some locals is known as a miniature 'China Town'. The name Fekerte comes from the name of the Chef, where she provides traditional Ethiopian flavours and spices that can be appreciated locally. Furthermore, the restaurant provides an array of vegetarian options. Ethiopian food itself has a few key characteristics:
Enjera: A thin flat bread made from a grain called Teff (which is only grown in Ethiopia) - alternatively made from sorghum and wheat flour. It is used to scoop up stews.
Wat: A stew that uses berbere (an Ethiopian season composed of red pepper and other spices), and can be mild or hot.
Alicha: A stew that is delicately seasoned dishes that doesn't use berbere, therefore using more subtle spices and milder.
Entree:
We decided to start with 2 entrees, just to get our appetite going, considering we were all super hungry.
Kita and yeshimbra

Kita is an Ethiopian pan bread that is brushed with olive oil and spices, different to the ordinary bread entrees you can order. Yeshimbra are chickpea patties, they were coated in a spicy sauce which was counteracted by the yoghurt. Both the entrĂ©es were filled with lovely spice, and provided an insight to Ethiopian Cuisine.


Salad:

Keysir Salata - Beetroot Salad


Azifa Salata - Lentil Salad

The salads were basic and provided a refreshing side to the main dishes. I preferred the the beetroot salad over the lentil salad. The beetroot salad had a great bite, and was extra tasty with the juicy tomatoes.

Main:

Enjera

As mentioned earlier, Enjera is an Ethiopian styled flat bread. It has a unique taste, where it's sour, more than your average sour dough bread and has a spongy texture. When it's dipped in stew, that strange taste disappears and feels as if you are dipping naan bread in a curry (excluding textural differences).



Key Wat - Spicy Beef

This was spicy but not as spicy as the chicken, and great for the cold gloomy weather of Canberra. The beef was perfectly stewed, where it easily fell apart. The spices was nothing like I have ever tasted, unable to be compared to stews by other cuisines. The down part were the huge pieces of onions in the stew.



Atkilt Alicha - Vegetable Curry

Potato, carrot and beans! The potatoes were soft and delicate but not crumbly. It was a great simple vegetarian stew. One of the nicest stews of the night, a 'winter warmer'.



Doro Wat - Chicken in red pepper sauce and
Duba Wat - Pumpkin Curry

I thought the restaurant would use the same base stew flavourings for the 'wat' dishes, but I was pleasantly surprised. The chicken stew was spicier than the beef, however with the side of yoghurt it helped create a middle point.

I thought the pumpkin in the stew would be softer, but required a bit of a bite. Despite the texture, the pumpkin stew was the first stew of its kind I have ever tried.

Our banquet, served with rice

Ethiopian tea and coffee


We ended the night with some warm drinks, everyone chose the coffee, but I went for the tea. The aroma of the tea was soothing, and had a scent of a variety of spices. I tried a bit of the coffee, and it was very similar to Turkish coffee, but stronger. Sugar was absolutely necessary for the coffee. 

This was a very unique dining experience, where I had no idea what to expect. The portions look small, but don't be fooled, it is definitely filling. The best part was the  experience was the traditional nature of the restaurant, including the food, music and some of the staff. 


Good food, good times!

2 comments:

Christine @cookingcrusade.com 21 October 2012 at 22:43

I've never had Ethiopian food before - looks like it's worth a try! Don't think i've seen many Ethiopian restos in Sydney.. Might have to work on finding one!

thanhalang 21 October 2012 at 23:07

It is worth a try. I don't think there is one, but I know there is an African one in Newtown that I want to try. I wonder if it will be similar or not..

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