Betty’s Ethiopian Restaurant & Cafe, 819 Ballarat Road, Deer Park. Phone: 9363 0857
Consider The Sauce is not used to seeing fish on the menu’s of Ethiopian eateries.
And certainly, spying salmon kitfo ($17) on the menu at betty’s in Deer Park is a first.
It’s a beguiling dish.
The flavour of the chopped salmon is subtle but very present.
The fish dances atop of bed of near-creamed spinach and a base of ricotta and yogurt.
And there’s quite a high level heat provided by, according to the menu (see below), green chilli.
It’s beaut and, naturally, one of the more unusual dishes on the Betty menu.
On a visit earlier than my mid-week fishy lunch, Bennie and I tried the beyaynetu vegetarian combo ($15 per person).
It’s very good.
It has lentils three ways, the familiar mix of spud and beetroot, and cabbage/carrotconcoctions that display a bit more crunch and texture than is often the cooked-down case in the other Ethiopian places.
The beyaynetu is accompanied by a typically high-quality simple salad full of zing and crunch.
Betty’s is unusual in that it one of the very few Melbourne Ethiopian restaurants that makes its own injera – in this case with a mix of barley flour and Australian-grown teff.
Before opening their new cafe/eatery, Betty Diemsse and her husband, Beruk, ran a grocery store at the same premises alongside a small business importing Ethiopian spices and the like.
The Derrimut couple tell me that since opening recently they’ve welcomed into their restaurant all sorts of locals – Sudanese, Somalian, Eritrean; Aussies of many kinds, in truth.
Betty’s joins good Turkish and Vietnamese places, and the popular Chef Lagenda, on the the Deer Park commercial/eats strip.
With the looming arrival of Latin Food & Wines, which is moving from its long-time base at Berkshire Road in Sunshine, it could be said things are looking up food-wise in Deer Park.
Latin Food & Wines will be taking over the big premises that formerly housed Blue Cow Deli.
Their sensational sandwiches and empanadas will be joined by a range of more substantial South American dishes, an expanded line of groceries and a bottle shop.