Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Horn, Collingwood

With all the travelling I have done in the last few years, sometimes 'normal' eating out just doesn't excite me, and thats when I will usually convince the man to take me somewhere that offers a completely different style of food than we usually eat. Our visit to African/Ethiopian restaurant 'The Horn' on Friday night was one of these occasions. The minute I saw the option of eating with your hands, I knew this would be just the kind of cultural excitement I need to help tide me over until my next trip (and since there is no overseas travel on the agenda this year, I may need plenty of these).

The setting is casual and cosy, with African music playing at a DJ table and stressed but polite staff. There is food for all tastes on the menu, but I would advise those who cannot handle any chili to stay away- even the milder dishes had a pleasant kick to them! We both agreed that prices are pretty hefty for the size of the dishes ($60 for two entrees, two mains, a beer and a soda) but I guess you pay the price for a unique dining experience that isn't offered at too many places around Melbourne.

For entree we enjoyed 'Samboosa', pastries stuffed with beef mince and vegetables, similar to a samosa or curry puff. I preferred the 'Zil Zil', marinated chicken crumbed in white and black sesame seeds. Both were served with a spicy Ethopian salsa.

Our mains (designed to be shared) consisted of Do Ba Wat, a beef (melt in your mouth tender) and pumpkin curry that had beautiful flavours and a real chili kick and Asa Ba Ata which was the fish of the day in a lentil dahl which was enjoyable but somewhat bland and lacking a kick. The meals are automatically served with injera bread which serves as your cutlery for the dish. Thats right, you are forced to leave your comfort zone and use the bread to pick up the morsels of food. The bread was a very simple crepe like consistancy and seemed to simply be used as a tool rather than flavour itself. I quite enjoyed this new way of eating!

I don't know if I would go back to The Horn as although I enjoyed the flavours, trying it once was enough. I will definitely scope out the rest of the African scene in Melbourne though. If you are looking for a unique night out with friends, do give it a try- just remember to book as this place was packed out by the time we left.

L xx
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