Monday, January 9, 2012


Ethiopian food is the coolest because you get to eat it with your fingers and spongy bread, it is all about sharing and it is usually really spicy. These are three good things in my book. My favorite Ethiopian restaurant is in my hood on Commercial Drive, Harambe.

Harumbe 006

I used to live just down the street from Harambe when it was a smaller restaurant and  was always packed. A few years back they expanded the restaurant and it is still packed. I would guess they now seat around 50. The restaurant is really accommodating to large groups, if you let them know in advance. The decoration is all traditional Ethiopian artwork and colours. A very cozy feeling restaurant.

Harumbe 001

One of the drinks offered on the menu was an "Ethiopian Tea" for $3.25. Great, I thought this was going to be something cool, like Vietnamese coffee. Boy, was I ever a chump.

Harumbe 002

Turns out it was a chai-type tea bag and some hot water. Over $3.00 for a tea bag?! Not cool.

Happily, the food was awesome. We went with the Chef's Choice Combination for 2 people $25.99. What you get is some meat wots (like a thick stew)
yebeg wot (lamb simmered in berbere sauce, seasoned with assorted harambe spices), doro wot (chicken stew with hard boiled eggs) and alitcha wot (diced lean meat simmered with onions, spiced and purified butter, ginger, garlic and assorted harambe spices. The veggies are shero wot (ground chick peas cooked in berbere with onions and assorted harambe spices), mesir wot (red split lentils cooked with onion in berbere and assorted harambe spices), tekil gomen (steamed cabbage, onions and assorted harambe spices), gomen (spinach boiled in onion and sauteed with garlic and assorted spices), yatekilt alitcha (sauteed carrot, string beans, potato and onions seasoned with assorted spices) and finally, harambe salad.

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It is served with a plate of Injera, which is like a springy, flat sourdough.

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I love almost everything on this plate. The only one I am not a fan of is the cabbage, but that is because I don't like cabbage. It is cooked well and Big M really likes it. My favorite is the lentils they are hot and spicy and I like the texture. So much fun to eat with the bread. I wish that they had served the injera warmer, you could tell it just came out of the fridge, but it was light and tangy.

This is a mighty plate of food. Every time we get it, we think that it isn't going to be enough but with the bread, it is very filling. We gave it a good try:

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I love Ethiopian date night. The food is tasty and fun to eat. The service is very friendly, but it is not quick. This is not a place for a quick meal. This is a sit and enjoy your meal and friends kind of place.

Harambe on Urbanspoon


  1. And its a good place to sit out your "holy heck, my apartment just got stormed by a SWAT team" adrenaline crash.

  2. I too ate there quite frequently when I lived just down the block. It was my go to place when I had friends or relatives coming over to my side of town to share a meal and hang out. Awesome restaurant. Perfect for vegetarians, too.

    the traditional Ethiopian honey wine is worth trying too.