Today, I would like to tell you about a regular eating spot of mine: Habesha Ethiopian Restaurant & Bar.
Habesha, where I find myself at least once or twice a week, is located on Argwings Kodhek (on the right hand side before the intersection with Elgeyo Marakwet when coming from Yaya), and is the Ethiopian restaurant of choice for many people who live in its environs.
I first learned of Habesha from an Ethiopian workmate who told me that it was the preferred Ethiopian restaurant for Ethiopians living in Kenya.
My colleague decided to take me to Habesha for the first time after I told him that, despite being an avid fan of Ethiopian food, I had never tasted the raw meat that is such a famous part of Ethiopian cuisine.
We promptly made a date for the following Thursday so I could sample this raw meat.
Our rendez-vous took us to Habesha, where he used to have lunch with a group of his friends, faithfully, on a certain day each week.
My First Experience at Habesha Restaurant Nairobi
Once we got there, my workmate ordered a slew of Ethiopian delicacies, including special Kitfo, raw minced meat accompanied by Ayib Begomen, a mixture of kale (sukuma wiki) and homemade cheese.
We ate our Kitfo raw, or more accurately ‘leb-leb'( which means slightly heated in order to remove the chill from the meat and to melt the butter with which it is prepared).
Kitfo can also be eaten partially cooked or well done (not anything to write home about when it is fully cooked).
Much to my surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
On the following Monday, only four days later, my first thought upon waking up was, “Wow! I could really do with some Kitfo”, a craving which I duly satisfied. 🙂
Kitfo is not the only thing of note at Habesha.
The entire meal we had that day, which consisted of several sauces, or wots, and Injera, fermented bread usually made of teff, was outstanding.
On my visits to Habesha now, I very rarely eat Kitfo because my company usually isn’t as daring as I was that first day.
Instead, I have the mixed meat platter, or one of the single dishes, such as the Key Wot or Minchet Abish, accompanied with Ayib Begomen, a personal must!
The Food at Habesha Restaurant Nairobi
The food at Habesha is well priced with a dish averaging about Ksh. 1000.
All accompanied by Injera, each dish easily feeds 3 to 4 people.
If you have never tasted Ethiopian food before, I recommend it highly.
It is extremely tasty, and at Habesha, well priced.
Ethiopian food tends to be very spicy, but it can also be made mild upon request.
For a first time, I recommend a mixed meat or vegetarian platter to get an idea of the general cuisine.
Once you’ve tasted a few dishes, you can then begin to order single dishes more confidently.
Habesha Restaurant Nairobi Menu
When to Go to Habesha
Habesha Ethiopian Restaurant serves food all day, and so serves both lunch and dinner.
I prefer to go to Habesha for lunch (rather than for dinner) for two reasons: 1) Ethiopian food is extremely tasty and is usually served in large quantities so overeating is almost inevitable (which I prefer to do earlier in the day, if at all) and 2) Habesha has great outdoor garden seating that is great for soaking up some sun.
Whenever you choose to go, and whatever your order, I recommend also including a portion of Ayib Begomen. This cheese and vegetable complements all the other dishes perfectly!
I hope you do have a meal at Habesha Ethiopian Restaurant soon. When you do, I would love to hear what you have to say.
Until the next time,
Photo Credit: galleryhip.com