Saturday, February 28, 2009

Blue Nile Restaurant

Last night we did not feel like cooking dinner and were looking for somewhere to go out for dinner with the kids. In the end we came up with the Blue Nile restaurant on Head Street.

I have liked Ethiopian food for a long time. The neighbourhood I lived in in Vancouver in the early mid 90s had two Ethiopian restaurants.

The food at the Blue Nile was of a quality that is good. For a change I was in a restaurant in Victoria that was making food I could not have made at home. We all ate from the buffet, which is not the style I was looking for, but more on that later.

The wat, stews of meat or lentils, spiced in berbere was great, just what I wanted. All of really like the zehbi siga, though when Stephen tried to eat it without the injera, he food it too spicy. Injera is made with teff and is quite sour, almost bitter in flavour.

What was missing for me was the traditional serving style, a large round platter of sort to let everyone eat family style. The platter is covered with injera and then has dollops of different foods. You eat by tearing peices of the injera and picking the food you want. You have no need for your own plate or utensils.

I like buna as a coffee style, but the coffee we got last night did not have any spices ground and brewed with it. Traditionally this is cloves and cinnamon. They did serve it in the traditional jebena. Ethiopians take their coffee very seriously, they put Seattle people to shame in their approach to coffee. They are almost like the Japanese with the tea ceremony when it comes to coffee.

There is one more food I would liked to have had but that they do not have on the menu and this is kitfo. I assume there is a problem serving kifto as it is marinated uncooked meat that is very spicey, sort of like beef tartare but only with a lot more flavour. Sort of similar is gored gored which is more like a carpaccio though in cubes.

The restaurant has not updated the menu they have online where the buffet price was listed as $10.95. Last night it cost us $13.95 and this lead to a bit of sticker shock for me when I got the bill and it was $75 and not closer to $60 where I thought it would be.

Blue Nile on Urbanspoon
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