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Addis in Cape Ethiopian Restaurant

Cost
R105 avg main meal
Ambience
Authentic culture, Comfy & casual
Food
African, Ethiopian, Modern, Vegan food, Vegetarian
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
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500

Critic's review

Linda Scarborough

Food
Ethiopian dining is definitely not for the finicky or fussy. You place orders individually, but meals are served on one central platter for communal eating. Little wooden bowls of stew (wot) are brought to the table and upended onto a giant sourdough pancake (injera) on a grass-woven stand that acts as a table. Extra pancakes are rolled up in linen-lined baskets (one per two people) on the side. Tuck in by tearing pieces of slightly spongy pancake to pick up the saucy stews with your hands. Everything is gently spiced, in hues of warm amber and saffron. Berbere, a spice of milled dried chilli with garlic, ginger, cardamom and cloves, appears in many dishes, as does kibe, a clarified butter that’s simmered in herbs and spices and then cooled. Fresh tomato salsa keeps things texturally interesting alongside all the slow-cooked, tender stews of beef cubes, prawns, lamb, chicken and fish. Vegetarians and vegans are well-looked after, with more than ten suitable options making use of red and brown lentils, chickpeas, mushrooms, split peas and butternut. Desserts are uncommon in Ethiopian cuisine, so don’t bother with the small selection of generic options like ice cream and chocolate sauce and dom pedros.

Drinks
Coffee is an event. A fine stream of steaming black liquor is poured from a height out of a seemingly bottomless pot. The brew is served with smoking frankincense and a bowl of popcorn to complement the roasted bean flavours. Also recommended is the traditional sweet wine, tej, which is served chilled in big wine glasses filled to the brim. It’s delicious with the fragrant Ethiopian fare.

Service
Staff gently guide you through the rituals, such as washing your hands, and are more than happy to explain all the dishes on the menu and make suggestions.

Ambience
The first-floor dining room has a soft glow, with window seats bathed in light from Church Street during the day. Though they may seem very low at first, the beautifully carved wooden chairs turn out to be very comfortable indeed, encouraging you to linger over your meal. Scattered Coptic crosses and a ceiling of vibrantly coloured upside-down umbrellas create a setting that feels three thousand miles from Long Street.

And...
If you’re there for lunch, order the platter of six dishes for R95 – a bargain.

(July 2014)

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  • Food
    Fantastically fragrant meat, seafood, chicken and vegetable curries are served on the large traditional rice flour injera pancake for communal tearing and sharing – great eating experience, a real treat. Lots of vegetarian and even vegan options.

    Wine
    Well-put-together wine list with good options from R95 per bottle – very limited and average selection by the glass – great Ethiopian coffee and mint tea!!

    Service
    Laid-back and casual.

    Ambience
    Beautiful, warm traditional space, lovingly decorated – low-slung traditional Ethiopian chairs and couches. Lovely views of Church and Long streets.

    And...
    The three-course set menu at R170 is great value – it includes eight different curries and is enough to tame the fiercest of hungers! (BS, September 2010)
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User reviews

  • I always appreciate a dining experience that is more than just eating, and you get this here! From the get go, we got a warm welcome. The tables (which are basically low stools and tables) are scattered on different levels but still has such a cosy, authentic atmosphere. The waiter explained the menu to the 9 of us and we opted for the sharing platters, made up of his choice. When it arrived, wow! The dishes come served on the pancake type of substance called interactive, and the dishes are poured out onto it for a 'tear and scoop up' style.of eating - I.e. There are no knives and forks. The food was delicious! Everything from.veg, to fish, prawns, lamb, beef and chicken. The food is fully halaal. There was more than enough to go around, plus unlimited injera is served to your table. Coffee after is served beautifully with a side of popcorn. Highly recommended!
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  • What an amazing culinary Experience. The ambience takes you to Addis, as everything is authentic, from the decor, to the way the food is served, to the traditional hand washing and coffee and popcorn. Our waiter constantly checked in with us to see if everything was okay. He was very friendly and knowledgeable on Ethiopian culture. While the food is slightly expensive, it's WELL worth the experience, and I will definately be going again.
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  • A fantastic choice for a large, casual group who don't mind sharing and shaking up the usual seating arrangements. One drawback is that staff can be a little hard to get a hold of when it's time to order or request the bill.
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  • It's very seldom that restaurants get decor and the general feel of an intenational theme spot on - Addis in Cape is one of the very few. In fact, one of the gentlemen in my party who had previously spent some time in Ethiopia immediately said he felt like he was back in Ethiopia.

    A unique and unforgetable dining experience which was slightly blurred by the poor service. Our party of 5 arrived at 6,30pm, but only ended up getting our food around 9,45pm - having ordered within the first hour. Our waitress' distant approach added to the service blunder. However, the young gentleman who seemed to be the manager, was kind enough to personally apologise to the member of our party who made the reservation.

    The food however, made up for the service, or rather lack thereof. Spicy, flavourful, yet palatable for those not fond of hot foods. The beef ribs (sic) was my personal favourite - simple yet flavourful. The evening was topped off with a sensual coffee ceremony - incense to smell, visually confusing popcor, and amazing Ethiopian coffee for the taste buds.

    Overall, 5 odd hours of my life well spent.

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  • Best service I've experienced in a very long time. We had a fabulous time and great tasting food.

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  • What a beautiful place! The ambience is superb, and the staff are very friendly and efficient. Definitely a must if you want to experience this culture's great cuisine.

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  • What a beautiful place. The ambience is suburb, staff very friendly and efficient, definitely a must if you want to experience this cultures great cuisine.
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  • My deepest apology for the way your beautiful evening ended, and I would like to inform we do not allow such behaviors from our staff, if you may kindly inform me the date of this incident I will personally handle it. I would hate to hear that I have lost a wonderful guest as you, so please do accept my apologies and allow me to please complement a meal of your choice on your next visit.
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  • I liked the service, food and tej (the honey wine).But at the end, they did a weird thing and double charged my tip (on credit card). When I asked they said that it was a service charge on top. But service charge is 10% and I tipped more. So, they either screwed up the transaction and did not want to roll it back or tried to cheat a tourist. The difference was not that great, but why do that at the end of a nice meal?Either way they just lost a near-certain repeat customer.
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  • An interesting but rather expensive evening (tourist prices?). Indifferent service. Will think twice before returning.....
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  • The food is overpriced for the tiny portions they serve. Ok for a first time with the communal eating and all that, but not to be repeated if one can help it.
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  • Great service, great ambience, but bland food. Good for the first time experience, but unfortunately not worth going back.
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  • This is truly a great restaurant with fantastic atmosphere. Air is filled with amazing auromas of spices and Ethiopian coffee. Sitting around a table and sharing dishes creates a great vibe and delivers a greater variety of flavours.Have only been once, but will definately be back very soon!
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  • The setting is fine but the overpriced meal is not enough.
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  • If you are looking for something a little different, Addis in Cape is an absolute winner! This gorgeous spot is conveniently located on the Corner of Long and Curch street in a beautiful historical building. The decor is imported from Ethiopia while the inside of the restaurant is designed with a faux run-down feel where plaster is left incomplete to bear the buildings original brickwork. My favourite aspect of the restaurant is undoubtedly the traditional eating rituals. Knives and forks are no where to be seen and the waiters bring fragrant water poured from ornate silver coffee pots to wash your hands, prior to eating. There are various options available in terms of courses while half the menu is fully vegetarian. Im of the opinion that when trying a new restaurant where you arent familiar with the style of food its best to take the recommendation of the waiter; which is exactly what we did on the day, and the food was fabulous! I will definitely recommend this restaurant to everyone I know.
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  • A refreshing change to the food eaten before at the places visited before. Loads of special touches, decorations and smells. Had a very cozy evening on a cold Tuesday night.
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  • Dear Claire, It is much appreciated to have your comments. Comments are valuable to us in order to make improvement where it is needed and also to give us a boost to go on with a consistency of service and quality. It is unfortunate that the portion was insufficient at your table. I certainly will make sure to see what went wrong. This is the same portion in the same dish (Taba) that we use for over 10 years in our sister restaurant Addis in Dar as well. It is my and Addis in Cape team’s effort that our clients are happy with us. I am sure you understand certain situations can be created in this kind of situation hope you will visit us some time again and that we will make it up to you. I am really sorry that this happened. Thanks Senait
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  • The food was tasty, but I thought it was very expensive for small portions. We ordered two half-portions for R90, and they came in small, maybe 150ml bowls. The bread is unlimited but we were only offered one extra roll of bread each. Service started well but as the restaurant filled up became slow. Nice atmosphere, the food I managed to eat was good, but not good value for money.
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  • been here a few times and its always a great social evening.....you share the food which is delightfully served and its not too expensive
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  • What a treat! We sipped our way through honey wine and dipped our fingers into a selection of stews served on a giant pancake that would put any American the worlds biggest... challenge to shame. Ravenous from a day hiking and too curious for our own good over the exotic spicy offerings, we learnt how curiosity killed the cat - death by over-eating. Mind you, I couldnt help but wonder how with meals of such magnitude, Ethiopians could weigh anything less than 80kg. A leg. The beautiful ambiance and warmth in colour displayed by the authentic, traditional arts and crafts beautifully complimented the fine cuisine and I would recommend this little gem to anyone. Visit www.addisincape.co.za.
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  • Before checking this place out, I admit I was very skeptical. Ethiopian food? I couldnt imagine what it would be like. Much to my surprise, however, this place was great. So different and unique - sitting around a little table, eating with your hands, sharing some Ethiopian coffee with friends - definitely a great place to go with a group of people or just a few friends. The staff was super helpful and answered every question we had about Ethiopian food. It was a bit pricier than I expected, but otherwise the ambiance was great
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  • I think that Addis on Cape will be next hot spot for tourists and anyone looking for a great venue for groups of 4 and more!The food is amazing - the seating and decor is very condusive to having a relaxed dinner. The coffee is out of this world and is a must! Thanks for a great evening!
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  • What a wonderful experience! The food was delicious! I particularly enjoyed learing more about the Ethiopian culture - and partaking in the coffee ceremony at the end of the evening.Fantastic decor and ambience - will definately be going back!
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Functions
  • Halaal friendly
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Vegetarian
  • WiFi

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