Food and memory is a funny thing. I’m sure we didn’t eat more than two or three times at the Ethiopian restaurant in Vancouver, but I remember the times we did vividly: the slightly sour soft aerated pancake and the mysterious varieties of vegetables and meat to be scooped up by said pancake. Also, for something that I liked so much, I don’t know why I didn’t hunt it down more often in the many years after.
In any case, finding out from a work colleague about a good Ethiopian restaurant was exciting. In Sydney, I believe there’s one restaurant that’s opened, and it’s not so easy for me to get to. Someone ran a food stall at local markets, where I was able to grab a snack, but it wasn’t the same as a proper meal.
And this meal, at Restaurant Menelik, on rue Sauffroy in the 17th: now that was a proper meal. After receiving tiny complimentary glasses of a pink sparkling drink, our orders, a mixed Ethiopian platter and the fish/vegetarian combination, arrived on a huge pancake covering (we discovered later) a large, round, plastic Chinese dish, with another plate with extra injera pancakes (made of teff flour, tasting spongy and addictive as I remembered).
I found all of the dishes interesting and tasty: chicken, beef, ground meat, lentils, carrots, a cabbage mixture, fish. The sauces were savoury and rich, without being oily. My better half found the injera filled him up rather quickly, and god, it was a lot of food (and such value, for Paris: 40 euros for the two of us including a half-litre of house wine).
It was a nice change from the standard fare of French bistros. The waitress was sweet, and overworked (she was taking care of all the tables, I think). But simply: I loved this meal.
4 rue Sauffroy