Reviews for Cafe Abyssinia
one month ago
We went here for lunch and the place was fairly quiet. We ordered the doro wot (chicken) and kai sega wot (beef cubes) which were both served on a huge platter with enjera. The idea is to eat with your hands from a shared plate. This was the first time we were trying Ethiopian cuisine. Service was polite and friendly and the food arrived quite quickly. The enjera is a sort of flat bread which is quite light with a slightly sour taste. The chicken and beef dishes were both spiced perfectly, not too hot and cooked just right. Portion sizes are quite reasonable for the price. Both of us thoroughly enjoyed the food and the unique flavour of the enjera. Would definitely try more Ethiopian food in the future!
one month ago
Very authentic taste. Even though the Enjera isn't made with 100% teff and is a little heavier, it has the delicious slightly unleavened taste.
The Beef Kitfo and the Doro Wot were delicious, and I also loved the lentil curry.
I've been to this restaurant 3 times now, and always impressed with the friendly service, delicious food and beautiful atmosphere.
by Charlene Weaver
one month ago
I had never tried Ethiopian food before so I was excited to try this place. Unfortunately I did not enjoy the traditional Injera pancakes they serve curries and food with - these were definitely more of an acquired taste and I personally found them quite sour/bland. I would have much preferred the curries with a bowl of rice, however it was nice to try something different and common in Ethiopian culture.
We ordered the beef and chicken curry which were both divine and full of flavor! Overall a pleasant experience and would recommend for anyone that loves trying new things and experiencing different cultured foods.
by Amit Tripuraneni
one month ago
Kitfo (Beef tartare - Ethiopian style) and Doro Wot (chicken dish) eaten with enjira is absolutely sensational. As authentic as you can get and delish. Seek this place out and try it - you'll be pleasantly surprised.
2 months ago
We were at Cafe Abyssinia in January, but I did not get around to writing a review.
However, the food was so good like it used to be in Ethiopia that I must add my vote. After having lived six years in Addis Ababa, I can verify that this is authentic Ethiopian cuisine. A place to try if you like hot and spicy food. Service is friendly. Go for the dorowot (chicken wot). Be prepared to be open-minded as you'll be eating from a common platter with your fingers. Fabulous for family bonding.
by Ruby Jilani
2 months ago
Don't be fooled by the fact this is hidden away at the back of a shopping complex in Mt Roskill. Be happy that it is there! So first let me say this $3.50 for a can of coke is a rip off no matter how you try and sell it to me! If I was sitting the Langham or some place in the Viaduct that is the going rate but not when next door a can is $1.
We had the Tibs lamb and the kifto well done. Now to be honest having never had Ethiopian food before I had no idea what to expect from the flavours but its kind of like Indian food mixed with Arabian food well that is the only way I can describe it. I would recommend but not somewhere that would be on our regular places.
by Sean Appleby
4 months ago
Really authentic food, the owners are always friendly and warm. It's a little slow getting food out but always worth the wait. Really like this place especially with several friends.
by Asif Rahman
6 months ago
i always wanted to try the food and the ambient of this place.
Food was really different and i enjoyed the food,
the service could be better but not bad. reason, i was not even once asked how was the food, nor was i asked to come again or thank you for coming by the lady.
the reason could be, there was almost 12 people having a birthday celebration and the checkout lady was multitasking (cashier,waiter,kitchen hand).
will visit once again, though the menu price listing in Zomato needs an unpgrade, the price has changed on few items.
6 months ago
Love the food here. Clean authentic and great flavours! Ethiopian food is delicious. I would go here at least once a month and enjoy the food every time! Thank you.
by Brian Michel
6 months ago
We love this place! Had a birthday party here...the owner / staff were very accommodating. Great food. Not easy to find anything like this in NZ, so for those who like a true unique experience, give this a go!
6 months ago
Nice little stop in Mt roskill, thought we'd try something new! If your up for something really different give it a go. Service was good and they explained each dish well. My partner ordered vegetarian curry and I got the chicken curry. Unusual crepe/pancake, was quiet bland and a very acquired. The curry itself wasn't bad but would have like a bit more of it for what it was worth. Good sense of cultural in the decor.
by Rosie Herald
6 months ago
I have been meaning to visit Cafe Abyssinia for quite some time now, and finally made it there on Friday. Three of us went together, which mean that we were able to get three different options meaning there was a nice variety of food for us to share. The waitress was lovely and explained what the different menu options were.
This was my first time experiencing Ethiopian food, and I love that it's not just about the amazing flavours, but the whole experience. I've also come to the conclusion that food really does taste better when eaten with your hands...
by Sananda Chatterjee
7 months ago
A good place to start trying something new. Ethiopian/Eritrean cuisine in the heart of central auckland! And the plates are for sharing.
Go with an open mind, and a bit of time on your hands. A pretty relaxed environment.
7 months ago
Curries were nice enough but my husband found the bread, Injera, a sourdough-risen flatbread with a unique, slightly spongy texture and eating with your fingers not what he liked. Wont rush back. We had the lamb and a beef curry.
8 months ago
It wouldn't be an exaggeration if I said that dining in Cafe Abyssinia was the most unique dining experience I had ever encountered.
Please don't get uncomfortable about eating with your hands. It is quite the technique to master!
Beautiful flavours, flavours I haven't experienced anywhere else before. The Doro Wot (the chicken dish) was definitely the standout. The lime and ginger flavours really gave the dish a lot of depth!
An unusual location to find, but well worth the effort to go and give it a try!
10 months ago
Been here a couple of times. Good food, definitely something new and different.
Paid about 40$ for two people, two mains and a juice.
To enjoy this place you have to be comfortable with sharing your food and eating with your hands. Food is also spicy but a different kind of spice from what im used to;
Room for Improvement. A few more options of mains would be good, and more side dishes will compliment the food really well.
Otherwise amazing place
by Doug Funnie
11 months ago
Omg we always get the vegetarian meal between two people which is 4 different types of vegetarian curry/stew on enjira bread, and that special coffee that comes out in a beautiful jug and they serve it to you on a tray with lit incense which is a really nice ritual that enhances the coffee drinking experience. Ps I don't really drink coffee but I love this one
by Siromi Ansell
Nov 20, 2014
I went there for lunch yesterday with my son. We enjoyed the food, specially the sour dough flat bread. I have never eaten it before. It had a spongy texture and was great to have with the beef and lamb dishes we ordered. I had a coffee recommended by the waitress and which came from the Harar region in Ethiopia and was a nice way to end the meal.
The waitress was very friendly and helpful and I would certainly go there again.
by Fleur Peps
Jun 25, 2014
LOVE this place. I will be back again with friends for sure.
The service was really polite and the food was explained well to us, along with how it was going to be served and how best to eat.
We tried about 5 different dishes in our large group and it all tasted fantastic. Really liked the vegetarian dish. Teamed with the bread, it does end up being a fairly sizable amount of food.
The service was a tad on the slow side but that's to be expected for a busy place with not many staff it would seem.
I recommend you give this place a go. Book in advance if you can - just in case. They were full when we were there!
Jun 13, 2014
We dine here quite regularly and every time it has been a pleasant experience. The food is delicious and the dining experience is unique. The staff are very welcoming and friendly which I really value in a restaurant. I would highly recommend Cafe Abyssinia to anyone. It's become one of my favourite restaurants in Auckland :)
by Auckland Food Tours
May 23, 2014
Dare to be different, get out of your comfort zone and try Cafe Abyssinia, New Zealand's first and only Ethiopian restaurant.
Located in the culturally diverse suburb of Mt Roskill, Cafe Abyssinia offers a culinary experience like no other. All food is consumed with your hands and is all authentically Ethiopian. I can highly recommend the Yebeg Alicha Wot, lamb sautéed and then slow cooked with chopped garlic, ginger, onions and turmeric, it has an exquisite buttery taste and is offset perfectly when eaten with Injera, a sourdough-risen flatbread with a unique, slightly spongy texture
The waitress was lovely and happy to answer any questions we had or give recommendations on things to try. The decor is simple and more in-line with a cafe setting, but never-the-less Cafe Abyssinia is perfect for when you want an adventurous treat.
by Ida March
Mar 23, 2014
Delicious food and enjera (bread) and courteous staff. Have been here a few times and tried different dishes. Can't work out why the food takes a while to come out when there aren't many customers, but I overlook this as soon as I get the food into my mouth. The flavours are amazing, a totally different cuisine if you have never had this before.
If you are a dainty type of person, take some finger wipes in your bag so you can clean yourself up afterwards. This is traditional ethopian style, so the food is eaten using your fingers and enjera/bread instead of cutlery.
Mar 17, 2014
Went with high hopes - but as the other reviewer Robert N said
$15 for two chicken legs doesn't say Value for Money. And the vegetarian dish was small. Would have been OK if taste and flavour were outstanding but no - failed on that front too.
As we were the only people in the restaurant at the time - they weren't rushed off their feet - so hard to explain why other reviewers found the place so wonderful. You might have better luck when you go.
by Frances M
Feb 07, 2014
Great place and great service.
Really lovely atmosphere and enjoyed eating something completely new to me!
The service was great and there was a good vibe.
All the food was so delicious and they do a killer hot chocolate to finish things off.
by Emma W
Jan 21, 2014
If you are after a different food experience then Ethiopian cuisine is one to try. We shared 5 dishes between 5 of us with plenty of enjera. I usually can't handle spicy food and I found everything I ate to be mild to medium but some of the group clearly picked up spicier parts of the dishes. The dinner menu only has 8 items with not a lot of variety but eating with the breads and your hands makes you think less about what you are eating.
by Rebecca Smith
Jan 04, 2014
I have heard amazing things about Cafe Abyssinia so I was really looking forward to trying it. I finally got to go for lunch with friends and we ordered the Yetsom Beyaynetu, Doro Wot (Chicken marinated with fresh lime juice and simmered in freshly chopped onions, garlic and ginger, berbere and flavoured herbal butter) and Yebeg Alicha Wot (Sauted lamb slow cooked with chopped garlic, ginger, onions and tumeric). All were served with enjera, a yeast-risen flatbread with a unique, slightly spongy texture. You with your hands using the enjera to scoop up the meat and sauces. The dishes themselves were delicious with amazing flavour and spices however the enjera had an unpleasant taste (like a strong lemony baking soda) and we couldn't eat it after a while. I'm not sure if it always tastes like that or if we had a bad batch but I will definitely be going back to find out as I have only heard good things about Cafe Abyssinia.
by Robert Noble
Jan 03, 2014
Most dissapointed, $15 for two small chicken legs and an egg with loads of their home land bread that did not fast nice.
When paying it was time to pay the pill I was over charged I felt ripped off.
by Kate W
Nov 18, 2013
I'd read about Cafe Abyssinia and was very curious about trying the place out. I've only ever been to one other Ethiopian place before, in London, and it was always a special evening. Unfortunately the location isn't great here, it's in a small shopping mall, tucked away at the end and is very much a cafe rather than a restaurant which also means of course, no wine. Having said that, the food was very good - the injera (savoury, doughy pancake) and the beef tartare were my faves. And the ceremonial coffee at the end (on request only- it's not on the menu) was fantastic.
by Chris Robertson
Oct 28, 2013
I honestly had to make an account on here just to give Café Abysinnia an amazing review.
Everything was amazing right down to the hot chocolates we ordered, strangely they were better than most cafe's I've ever been too.
I don't know quite what else to say apart from I recommend checking them out for an amazing experience!
Oct 19, 2013
We stumbled across this place today when we were out exploring Mt Roskill. The food certainly looks interesting. And they know how to make excellent coffee. Do check them out.
by Cheap Eats
Sep 26, 2013
If you're looking for something different to your usual Thai, Japanese, Indian Chinese rotation of eating out, check out Auckland's first Ethiopian restaurant. It has a range of spiced stews (spiced, rather than spicy) all served with enjera, a tradtional Ethiopian spongey-style unleavened bread with a great slightly sour taste. For more detail and dish recommendations go to http://cheapeats.co.nz/cafe-abyssinia/
Sep 10, 2013
Such an interesting place to dine at. Food was delicious and staff were very helpful. They took their time explaining each dish to us and recommending particular dishes. We ended up ordering a mixed variety of everything between my partner and I. Very reasonably priced. Would recommend people to get out of their comfort zone and try something new!
by Carmella @ Easy Food Hacks
Aug 21, 2013
Yes, you read that right. Ethiopian food has arrived in Auckland. Café Abyssinia opened its doors several months ago and you could hear the collective rumble of delight from local foodies. I shouldn’t have been surprised when Dumpling Club members requested this for our next outing; several of our well-travelled members have eaten at Ethiopian restaurants in the US and Australia and raved about the cuisine.
Café Abyssinia is located in the new Tulja Centre at 190 Stoddard Road in Mt Roskill, a suburb known for its ethnic diversity. Tulja Centre has a stark, almost clinical look, punctuated by kitsch plastic trees festooned with fairy lights for flowers. It's just so random; I can’t wait to come here in the evening to see them in their glory. The décor at Café Abyssinia is just as cheerful, luckily in a more elegant manner, and evokes the colours of the Ethiopian flag,.
The menu focuses on traditional fare, with 9 different (and variations of) mainly stews (wot) or sautéed (tibs) dishes, all served on enjera, a spongey sourdough flatbread. There is also a raw beef dish (reminiscent of tartare) called kifto.
I especially love the whole ritual of it, the washing of hands, the serving of the food, and the coffee ceremony. A large ewer and basin is brought out and poured over the hands of the diners, and a hand towel offered. Note that if you come in a large group or if they are busy, this is skipped, which is a real shame.
The food is shared between diners. Pieces of enjera come in a large metal platter, and then the small dishes of meat or vegetables are poured onto the pancakes. To eat, you tear off segments of enjera, scoop or roll small amounts of side dishes and somehow try and pop this into your mouth without making a mess of things.
The vegetarian combo (yetsom beyaynetu) is my pick; you get stewed cabbage and carrot, and two spicy lentil dishes. Yehbeg alicha wot, stewed lamb with aromatics is tender and delicious. The lamb tibs were unfortunately chewy and rather bland compared to the doro wot, the spicy and tender, melt-off-the-bone chicken. I couldn't get the hang of trying to tear off bits of hard boiled egg with the soft enjera.
To finish off your meal, you must try the Ethiopian coffee. The owners roast the beans themselves, to maintain the authenticity. The coffee comes in a earthenware pot (jebena) and poured into small cups. The slightly citrusy coffee is wonderful to sip as wafts of incense envelopes the table.
Jul 28, 2013
I have loved ethiopian food for a long time. One of my earliest memories of eating out was going to an ethiopian restaurant with a huge platter of injera, covered in a variety of different fragrant dishes. Since then I have always had something of a soft spot for it, but in Auckland, until recently I Ethiopian food was hard to come by.
So with some excitement we trundled off to Cafe Abyssinia, located at the back of a mall. For those unfamiliar with Ethiopian food the mainstay of it is basically assorted dishes of meat, pulses or vegetables cooked in a spiced curry of sorts. Ethiopia as a trading nation has a rich heritage of different influences and frankly has very tasty cuisine. The cornerstone of the food is injera which is a flat bread made with teff flour. Teff is a super grain of sorts and is highly nutritious. It has a number of interesting properties, not least of which is the elastic dough that it produces. There is nothing quite like injera made with teff, it is chewy, elastic and delicious.
Cafe Abyssinia is not expensive. It costs around $15 for some injera and a dish and this can easily be shared between two. Six of us went to dinner and it costs around $10 or so each, so it was really affordable, we ended up with too much food. Thankfully however I got to try a large majority of the dishes on the menu.
My favourite dish on the menu was the equivalent of steak tartare. Raw steak minced with spices and served with the ubiquitous injera. It was a lovely texture and fragrant and I think the pick of the items on the menu. There were also a lot of cooked dishes as well, including lamb, beef, chicken and others. None of which were bad at all, but perhaps less memorable.
There were however a couple notable problems for me with the food. Firstly the dishes on a whole were under seasoned and perhaps toned down for a western palate (not sure, but it felt like this too me). The sauces tended to be on the weak side and one dimensional. The real disappointment however was the injera. I suspect it was not made with teff at all, but even if it was it must have been cut with a lot of other flour, probably wheat. The result was not anything like the injera I have had before. It lacked the characteristic flavour and more importantly texture. This was disappointing for me, as it is one of the greatest appeals of Ethiopian food. I might mention as well tha the food was not served on the injera, which is how it normally would. This allows the dishes to seep into the bread and makes the injera delicious to eat. You obviously can pour them on the bread, but it was a shame.
The did however serve some nice Ethiopian style coffee. It was served with incense and I really enjoyed the mingling of flavours and smell with this. It was a nice finish to the meal.
Ultimately for me Cafe Abyssinia, is not terrible, but is not as good as it could be. Like I said, I enjoyed their equivalent of steak tartare and some of the other dishes. The chicken was over cooked, but the lamb and beef were fine. I appreciate that teff flour may be impossible to get here and they are doing the best they can. It cannot be easy making traditional Ethiopian food in New Zealand given the relatively small community. I am thankful to have Ethiopian food here, as it is one of the great food traditions of the world. However the technical difficulties and poor injera, was disappointing. I would however recommend it based on its price as a nice diversion from the ordinary food available. The serving staff were also very nice on the day we went.
by Jay Doubleu
Jul 01, 2013
Authentic & very delicious. Staff were friendly and very helpful in explaining and recommending each dish to us (as first timers). We ordered Tibs (Juicy beef or lamb fillet stir fried), Kitfo (raw beef), and Kai Sega Wot shared between 4 people.
Happy with our first time trying Ethiopian food will likely return for more.
by Jamie Blackman
Mar 22, 2013
This is a cuisine with which I am quite familiar, and I was extremely impressed. The beef with berbere sauce was excellent, the vegetarian combo was spectacular, the injera (flatbread that serves as both substrate and utensil) was perfect and the service was fantastic.
If you are unfamiliar with Ethiopian food, do try it. It's not as spicy as Thai or Indian, but every bit as flavourful. The hottest spice in the cuisine is generally paprika, giving what is essentially a 'curry' more of a sweet smokiness than a burn, per se.
Yes, the traditional way to eat Ethiopian food is with your hands and injera (much like eating hummus with pitas). But get this: the owner will actually come to your table to wash your hands for you both before and after the meal. That, children, is what is called "service" in the far Northern land of my birth.
If you absolutely insist on eating with knives and forks, you have but to ask, I'm sure.
This is a wonderful treat! There hasn't been an Ethiopian place in Auckland in years. You must go there!
by Sophie A. Bond
Feb 14, 2013
SO GOOD! If you want genuine Ethiopian food, this is the place. I have eaten Ethiopian food in many different countries, including Ethiopia itself, and the dishes at Cafe Abyssinia are right up there with the best. You eat with your hands because that's the traditional way - if you want cutlery you can ask for it. It's a really genuine experience. Stay for the beautiful coffee afterwards!
by Emma H
Dec 11, 2012
We tried two dishes off the small but interesting menu. A spicy chicken (on the bone) stew and a slow cooked cabbage and carrot mixture. These came with lentils and a tomato kasundi type sauce. All the meals are accompanied by enjera - a traditional Ethiopian flat bread. Lovely flavours and after tastes but the downside was you eat with your hands - the idea is to take some bread (more like a thick aerated crepe) and use the bread to pick up the pieces of the meal. Unfortunately we had to ask for serviettes. There is plenty of parking behind the building and an elevator or stairs to take to the cafe level where you will find several other ethnic eateries. Worth a try if you don't mind getting messy.
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