J and I decided to be culinary adventurous and tried a newly opened Ethiopian/Eritrean restaurant in Victoria Park. This was probably one of the most exciting dining experience I've had as I've never tried Eritrean food before.
Echye's is a family owned restaurant with a lovely African feel depicted through their furnitures. The menu is based on a wide selection of curries all accompanided with Enjera (yeast risen flatbread). J and I had our pick of different curries, we chose Zhigni and Goredgored curries. We also ordered the Habesha coffee just to experience it. Menu can be found on their website.
When the Enjera came out, we were so shocked with it's appearance, it literally looks like a sponge, I studied the texture and it accurately resembles one. The colour was also odd. Taste wise, it had a fermented sour taste to it just like DOSAI. Unfortunatly I'm not the biggest fan of dosai.
Our curries arrived in cute African stew pots and we were told to put the curry on the bread and tear it with our hands, the waitress gave us cutlery just incase but we decided to do it the African way.
Zhigni - Most popular meat dish - tender lamb with berbere (mixture of spices with red chilli), onion, garlic and tesmi (purified butter with spices).
Like many curries full of spices, it tasted like an indian curry but probably more intense with the spices. Meat was deliciously tender accompanied with lovely sauce.
Goredgored - tender beef pieces, pan fried served with awaze (chilli paste)
The Goredgored wasn't as saucy as the Zhigni but still delicious.
Since the bread was huge! We struggled to finish our dishes and I wasn't too keen on the bread, the waitress gave us a different kind of bread as she understood Enjera may not be for everyone. We actually prefered the new bread. She also brought us a paste which I wasn't sure what it was called but J loved it! he started putting it on everything. I on the other hand found it abit too strong for my liking.
We started wondering when our coffee was going to arrive, the waitress then came out with a smoking pot with coffee beans and wanted to show us the roasting process. She said in Africa the aroma from roasted coffee is an invitation to come over and have coffee. I thought that was cute and nice of her to show us abit of their culture.
Few minutes later she brought out our coffee in a funky teapot with a wired ball in the spout which much resembled a hair ball, this served as a filter. Teapot was quite heavy than the norm and there was a technique in pouring the coffee. Coffee-wise, we both thought it was very strong, I would have liked some milk and I overloaded my little asian looking cup with sugar. J on the other hand took it in pretty well.
Overall, we enjoyed our Eritrean experience and would definetly recommend it to everyone who has never tried it out, food is authentic and I believe it's as close as you can get.