It has been a long time since I've written about a restaurant experience. Honestly, it has been a long time since I've tried anything new. We rarely try anything new especially during this time of uncertainty during the Covid-19 pandemic. That said, when I found out there was a restaurant featuring foods from Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania I was thrilled. My favorite restaurant in the world is Abyssinia in Memphis, Tennessee. The food is so full of flavor and those flavors have such a wide variety that everything there is unique. Since Kenya borders Ethiopia I thought the foods would have a similar taste and flavor. All week my wife and I talked about Abyssinia. Ethiopian lentil stew, braised cabbage, the light potato salad, the spiced split peas not to mention injera, the Ethiopian flatbread to sop up all of the stewed flavors!!! I couldn't stop thinking about it all!
Looking over the menu, I knew it would be different from my beloved Abyssinia. We were looking at coconut flavors added to rice and green peas and collard greens were on the menu. I love coconut so i was keen to try coconut mixed with whatever delectable spices they would be using. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. The peas tasted like peas with a little coconut milk. They were under-seasoned not to mention under-spiced, and my coconut cardamom rice had no coconut nor cardamom since they had mistakenly given us the wrong meal. My vegan dinner for two had some kind of overcooked, dry pork product in it. Luckily, I'm not a vegetarian so it wasn't the end of the world. I was just disappointed Even the flatbread was so oil filled that it was off-putting. My wife took a few bites and trashed her plate. I was too hungry to do that, but I didn't save any leftovers to savor.
On a brighter note, I've been very into cooking with sausage lately so I also ordered the Kenyan sausages to try out. They were good, and I would try them again.
I'm sneaking this review in under the radar and not posting it to the front page of the website because I have a hope that things just didn't go right for them this time and, were I wanting to part with another 40.00 bucks on dinner with them, I have hope that it would be a better experience.
David Thornton is a two time national award winning writer, chef, husband, father, and fitness enthusiast.