Tuesday, 11 March 2008

09.03.08: Out to Massai

We celebrated our last supper as a travelling trio in Massai, a restaurant we thought was Ethiopian but turned out to have much broader African influences. We each ordered an entree and decided to share the guly guma, plantains atop black-eyed peas and coconut milk.

Along with the guly they brought us a salad of sorts that we couldn't identify, but ate happily nonetheless. On to the entrees...

SHE SAYS: The black-eyed peas in the guly were like little rocks, but the plaintains were the tenderest I've had. My bumya - lamb with okra, berbere sauce, onion, garlic and ginger - was also tender, v. tasty, and quite hearty with the accompanying white rice. Will definitely be thinking about making some nice tangy berbere sauce of my own in future. The restaurant was welcoming and comfy, but I was expecting more of a funky, informal, low-floor-table experience.

HE SAYS: My Zebhi Derho - roast chicken in Eritrean berbere sauce with onion, garlic and ginger - was rich and satisfying. Chicken was tender but the portion was a little small, the sauce was citrus-sy and more-ish and I could have done with some extra bread to clean the plate. Felt the d├ęcor a little trite and theme restaurant-like, but the service was friendly and unfussy.

MISS INFORMATION SAYS: This was fun. I agree with Her that I was expecting something more in line with a floor-level, big-plate-sharing, communal feast, but the food did not disappoint. We all agreed our appetizer's black-eyed pea component was a little tough. But the coconut-milk dressing put me in a forgiving mood. My Kifonatata (lamb in a spicy, rich spinach, onion, ginger sauce) was bursting with flavor, although I think it was the least of what we ordered; for some reason my lamb was not as tender as that featured in the Bamya dish, and the Berbere was truly to die for. Must mention the Fufu - ordered out of intrigue. Basically a rice substitute, akin to grits, maybe a little more rubbery. No real flavor, but great for soaking up that sauce! I would be remiss in my reviewer duties if I did not give props to the mango beer! A powerful-sweet accompaniment that held its own against the intense sauces!

PS: Many thanks to Miss Information for the photos, since our camera conked out!

No comments: