A Hand is as good as a fork! Abay Ethiopian Restaurant, Pittsburgh (3rd March'09)

I have been wanting to try this restaurant for awhile as I´d heard that it was good and also because I´ve never tried Ethiopian cuisine...it´s another new experience for me! I tried to reserve a table but it was already booked up but we decided to risk it and ended up having to wait half an hour to get a table. Definitely a good sign!

The restaurant itself is quite small and basic but cosy. It has paintings of African women and children and various other African memoribilia on the walls and around the room and some of the tables and chairs at the front of the restaurant are small and made of wicker.

We decided to get a combination platter for 4 to share...however, we were sharing it between the six of us. At $51 dollars a platter based on 4 sharing, it doesn´t seem so cheap. You can choose either a vegetarian sampler or a combined meat & vegetarian sampler and pick the dishes you want to try-we chose the latter.

We had a lamb dish served with almonds and cinnamon, which was the night´s speciality-I forget the name- Doro Wat- chicken marinated in lemon with a mild, herb sauce, Ye' Abesha Gomen (I think)-a vegetarian dish comprising of kale, peppers, ginger, garlic and onions and Kay Wat- a spicy beef dish. The meat and veg was served on top of this spongy type bread (injera) which is made from various grains such as barley and wheat. It was really light and airy and reminded me a lot of pancakes, especially savory galletes. We ordered some extra Ingera otherwise I think we might have still been hungry although nobody seemed to be very hungry...saying that, though the food disappeared very quickly! You have to eat the meat & veg with the bread and your hands if you want to be authentic...and get your hands dirty. We did it the fun way and used our hands but if that´s too much for you, you can ask for a knife and fork.

I liked all the dishes, they were well-cooked and the meat was very tender and just melted in your mouth. My favourite dish was the lamb and my least favourite was the chicken as it didn´t appear to have much flavour. I was expecting Ethiopian food to be very different to anything I´d ever eaten before although I have to say I was a little disappointed. Don´t get me wrong or anything, I really enjoyed the food, it just reminded me quite a bit of Indian food as it has some similar flavours. The beef wasn´t as spicy as I had expected it to be either. At first you couldn´t taste the heat but once you´d eaten it, you´d get the spicy afterrush of heat.

We couldn´t resist a dessert to round off the meal and one of the couples shared a white chocolate raspberry cake that looked delicious. I shared a pumpkin sambussa which came with the ice cream of your choice (brown cinnamon) and honey or chocolate sauce(chocolate sauce of course!) as did the other couple. It was a bit like a sweet samosa but was very tasty, if a bit too much cinnamon although not sure this is very authentic Ethiopian food! You can definitely eat this with a spoon as it´d be too messy with your hands!

We only drank water so I´m sure you could spend a lot more depending on how much you ate and what you drink. One important point about this restaurant is that it is a BYOB or in other words you have to brink your own bottle of wine or alcohol if you want to drink alcohol and there´s a small charge of $2.50. However for a meal, extra bread and desserts, the bill came to $16.60 each, which isn´t bad for a night out.


  1. I've never had Ethiopian food either, sounds like a fun experience!

  2. Ethiopian food I also have never tried, but viewing your pics and reading your post it really does sound a great thing to try!

    Rosie x

  3. Hi Anne & Rosie! I´d definitely encourage both of you to try Ethiopian food sometime as it´s something different and is a lot of fun diving in and eating with your hands!

  4. that's a first for me.
    I've never seen Ethiopian food before but you get a variety of things on the menu I see - I had a google.

    Those breads do look good don't they.

  5. Hi Gill! Yeah, the menu is quite extensive-pity we couldn´t try all of it!!! ; ) The bread is very tasty- I´d love to try and recreate it!

  6. When I was in Tampa, I was told to try Ethiopian food but I ended up in having Japanese food. Now I regret for missing such a chance to try. Your review makes me mouth watering.

  7. Hi Janet! Never mind! Next time you get the opportunity to try Ethiopian food, you should definitely go for it!


Hi! Please feel free to leave your comments-would love to have any feedback-thanks!

Related Posts with Thumbnails