Ras Dashen, 121 Nicholson Street, Footscray. Phone: 9687 3293
A chance Sunday night encounter in the Yarraville IGA finds me dining out in downtown Footscray on a Tuesday night with friends and friends of theirs.
Ethiopian is the preference and Ras Dashen is my suggestion.
I’ve been here a couple of times by myself though not recently.
So I’m a little concerned about how we might go so early in the week with a table of five that includes two vegetarians.
I need not have fretted as what we receive is magnificent.
The beyaynetu veg selection is provided at an amazing $10 per head – so the wonderful spread pictured above costs us $50.
Two kinds of lentils – aspicy and rich red number and a yellowish dal-like mix.
A jumble of mixed vegetables, a bowl of delightful beetroot and a typically zingy salad.
It’s all delicious.
On the side, I order the fitifit or beef rib soup ($10) enjoyed on a previous visit.
If anything, if it seems bigger, more meaty and wonderful than before. The broth is pungent – it comes across a bit like an Ethiopian version of pho, but without the star anise and so on.
It’s my new Favourite Thing.
Finally, our table snags a serve of zilzil tibs ($12, sorry no pic usable!).
This is unlike any tibs dish I’ve previously encountered.
It’s very dry, with pan-fried beef strips that have been rubbed – and I’m pretty much guessing here – cumin, a little chilli, salt, pepper and garlic.
It, too, is excellent.
The service we have been given has been beaut and it’s been a fine thing to see a Footscray Ethiopian joint bustling with activity so early in the week..