Phone: 020 71967444
Address: Gera Serenity, Off North Main Road, Lane Next To Starbucks, Koregaon Park, Pune, Maharashtra India
Time: 12 Noon – 3 PM, 7 PM – 11 PM
Meals for two: Rs. 1,600
Cuisines: Ethiopian, African
Facilities: Serves Alcohol, Free Parking, Table booking recommended, Indoor Seating
In India, very few people know about the rich food culture from the many African countries. Only a select few restaurants have some popular dishes from Africa on their menu. Venturing into this uncharted territory, Abyssinian, India’s first exclusive Ethiopian restaurant launched in Chennai in 2016 and has now come to Pune in Koregaon Park.
Abyssinian, Koregaon Park, Pune: Decor
Abyssinian has been set up on one section of the popular South Indian restaurant Savya Rasa on the ground floor. The seating is a mix of traditional and contemporary. The traditional seating is a typical Ethiopian dinning set-up complete with low wooden chairs and small stools called barchuma and the Mesob, a tall woven round wicker basket with a colorful lid. When you open the lid, there is space to keep a plate or tray in which the meals are served. All through the restaurant, historical and tastefully selected artifacts sourced from Ethiopia are on display. From the sketches of Ethiopian people wearing traditional clothes and head-gears to leather lamps which depict interesting folk tales.
Abyssinian, Koregaon Park, Pune: Food
Ethiopian meals are typically served on a large platter and all the family members eat from the same platter. The platter is lined with the Ethiopian staple flat bread called Injera. Injera is traditionally made from the iron-rich teff seeds, but at Abyssinian they make it using raagi or nachani. All the stews, meats and vegetable dishes are served atop the injera and eaten with additional rolls of injera. The menu at Abyssinian features different options of Messob or the tasting platters, reminiscent of our very own thali. For non vegetarians, you can choose the messob depending on your choice of meat. Each messob variant has a complete vegetarian option, which is a great addition for the Indian audience.
We went for Baraka which included 13 different dishes ranging from vegetables, chicken, lamb and beef. Mandassi (fried bite-sized dumplings) and the Doro Shorba (Chicken Soup with beans and vegetables) were served before the meal. The shorba was hearty and the rosemary flavor was infused beautifully. After this, a large plate with two fluffy injera was kept on the table. We decided to eat as the Ethiopians do and asked for a community platter.They also have an individual platter option. One by one they started piling up the injera with different items. Ethiopia’s national dish, Doro Wot (spicy chicken stew) was proudly served first and it was definitely the best dish of the lot. An intense spicy chicken stew cooked with the berbere spice mix and served with boiled eggs, this tasted perfect with the injera. The Doro Alicha (Chicken stew cooked with onion, fresh turmeric and spices) and Doro Tibbs (Chicken stir-fry, tossed with onions, peppers, chilies, rosemary and niter kibbeh or spiced ghee) were both stellar dishes. You will notice that carrots feature in a lot of Ethiopian recipes. The carrot and beans stir-fry Fosolia was delicious and the best vegetarian dish on the menu. Some dishes served did not work and we ended up concentrating more on the ones we liked. Personally, Misir Beray Wot, a red lentil and mince stew, missed the mark on the flavor as well as the taste. As an experience to taste a new cuisine, I recommend that you taste each and every dish served.
Carrot filled filo pastry rolls deep-fried and drizzled with honey, the Sweet Sambosas were our favorites from the sweet dishes served. In Ethiopia, no meal is complete without coffee. We experienced the traditional ‘Coffee Ceremony’ where Ethiopian black coffee was served with spiced butter, salt and pop-corn.This was a great way to end the meal.
Abyssinian, Koregaon Park, Pune: Plus & Minus
As an exclusively Ethiopian restaurant, Abyssinian is a great addition to the global food scene in Pune. The team manages to create an authentic Ethiopian experience with the food and the decor. The sharing platters are in tune with the theme, but an ala carte menu featuring some signature dishes will definitely be appreciated, particularly for those who do not have an appetite for the whole messob.