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East African Restaurant
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Foods from East African Restaurant
2012 Apr 16
This resto is now closed.
2010 May 4
Please tell me what is questionable about my post? The food was great and I commented quite fairly about the food. There is nothing offensive in my post, if you are referring to the drunk guy i was talking about - it happened, get over it. It was a little disconcerting that he wasn't kicked out. but do you want me to lie about what happened? I liked the food, I liked the atmosphere, and I liked the service. The fact that people find my post uncomfortable is sad. I go to restaurents and report on what my experience was. that was my experience period. I will go back. So to all you untouchable, tolerance loving people out there, I don't tolerate comments like "all white people are violent" coming out of the mouth of a guy who was drunk off his ass. He happened to be visible aboriginal, which doesn't mean anything. I am not labeling nor am I making a racist remark. IT HAPPENED. This was not said by any one working at the restaurent, thus it doesn't refeect the restaurant itself. However, management could have tossed him out. Which they should have. So take what I said with a grain of salt and swallow a chill pill.
2010 May 3
I had been to the Horn of Africa before, and it wasn't bad, but I would never go back. I thought, meh - maybe i don't like Ethiopian food. But picky eaters make me angry, so I wasn't about to become a hypocrite. Walking home today, I decided to check out East African restaurant and give Ethiopian food another try. Upon entering, the waiter kindly walked out and seated me at the table of my choice. The place had a nice ambiance: cool smooth Jazz with an African twist, waterfalls running down the wall, an intricate carpet with a depiction of Christ on it (the owners must be Ethiopian Orthodox Tawedo) and pictures of African animals all over the place. I ordered a mixed vegetarian platter. The place was not busy at all, yet the service wasn't that speedy - but I was in no rush what so ever, so this didn't bother me. I ordered a Perrier and it came pretty quickly. About 15 minutes after ordering, I received a massive plate with 4 different vegetarian dishes served on top of nice and fresh injra bread. My previous experience with injra was that it was sour and tasted funny. This injra was delicious, moist and easy to work with. ON my plate was some kind of yellow lentil dish (similar to a dhal) and it was quite nice. There was also a very mild potato curry type thing, a very spicy tomato based paste type stuff, and the most delicious was the brown lentil stuff. I apologize for calling my meal stuff, but the names were all in Ethiopian and I would never remember them. In the center of my plate was some fresh salad with a perfect vinaigrette dressing. Along with the food on my plate, the server brought some extra rolled up injra in a basket. All in all, it was a nice relaxing experience, extremely filling (even though it doesn't look like much)and the ambiance of the place was cool. Unfortunately, there was a drunk native guy at the bar spurting all kinds of nonsense like "white people are violent" and other equally asinine comments, and I could see the patients of the server and the other Ethiopian looking guy running very thin. I would have liked to see the server kick that guy out for making an ass of himself, but he was buying quite a few beers so, what can you do. I certainly recommend this place though, and I will definitely try it again in the future. Next time I will try some of the meat dishes to see what they are all about.
If you have had East African food (like I have) before and not been thrilled, check out this place for the atmosphere, food and friendly service. It may change your mind about Ethiopian food. 3.5/5
2008 Jan 16
I've been here before, and it wasn't too bad. Was just there this past Saturday night and didn't have the greatest experience. The restaurant was busy, but not packed - despite this, it took about 40 minutes to get our food to us. Around 25 minutes we asked for the salad we ordered as we were ready to chew our arms off.
When the food arrived, while the beef with berbere sauce was good, the lamb we ordered was overcooked and dry. While I pretty much eat everything that's in front of me, I couldn't stomach anymore and made my husband finish it.
Ok, so one dish out of three was a disaster, but I wasn't totally irked by this experience. Yet. Now the part that really irked me was when I went to pay. We picked this resto because I had a coupon for it in the Entertainment book - when I presented this coupon upon payment, they refused to honour it, stating that I should have presented it at the beginning when ordering. I brought up the fact that nowhere on the coupon does it say that you have to present upon ordering. The waiter insisted that this was "house rules". Although, we were never briefed on said "house rules", and there's no sign indicating the house rules. I've used Entertainment coupons multiple times, and have never had a problem with presenting it upon payment. The waiter stated that the Entertainment book accidentally printed out 3 coupons - so I guess this lends to his reticence in accepting it. But as a paying customer with this coupon, I don't see how this is my problem and I should have to "pay" for it. I realize that people need to run a business, but this experience damaged some goodwill.
2007 Aug 8
I am sadly without pictures of our meal at the East African but will try to do justice with words.
Previously, I had been to the Horn of Africa (next door) a couple of times and was interested in trying this place. Arrived on Sunday evening with a party of four and were seated near the "water walls".
Service was good and we ordered the Combo platter for four and it arrived promptly. I did find the food very fresh and delicious with the dishes having a noticeable range of spice and heat to them (some quite mild to some on the medium hot end). In particular the chicken/hard boiled egg dish (name escapes me) was really excellent and that is typically my least favorite part of the meal. The presentation was very artfully done with the carious dishes arranged almost like a paint pallet for each person. The little basket of injera bread that they serve you in addition to your platter is also very welcome - we ran out quickly so were glad when the basket arrived. As we stuck to non-alcoholic beverages, our bill came to a very reasonable $49 (with coupon from the Bytowne Theatre Guide).
I really enjoyed the food here but would have liked it to be spicier. Maybe it's just personal preference but I think I prefer the spice/heat level of the Horn of Africa a little more (also, remember servings being more generous there?).
Still, boyfriend said he preferred East African to their neighbours so we will definitely be making a return trip with perhaps a request for "extra hot" thrown in.
2007 Mar 13
For this month’s instalment of our Entertainment Book supper club, we chose the East African Restaurant.
I had tried African food once before in Toronto many years ago.
This restaurant is literally right next door to the Horn of Africa on Rideau Street, but this place has a liquor license so you can have beer or wine etc.. with dinner.
The decor is quite nice with two "water walls" which create a nice soothing sound while you eat.
Service was friendly but sporadic.
Each couple ordered the combo plate to share which consisted of curried chicken, curried beef, lentils, chickpeas, veggie/potato stew, hardboiled eggs and injera (the bread). It comes presented in separate sections on a large plate in a basket with the injera around it and you get extra injera in a basket on the side.
You tear off small pieces of the injera and use it to pick up the food.
I have attached a picture I got off the internet because I forgot my camera again, but this is exactly what it looked like (but a larger portion).
It was hot and spicy and delicious. We had this platter with a half litre of white wine and minus our $9 coupon our bill came to $34. Excellent value!
2006 Dec 11
Thanks for rooting for the underdog.
2006 Dec 10
Since people have been talking about the Horn of Africa, I thought I'd put in a plug for a place I consider far better. I tried the East African (just a few doors up from the Horn) after the Xpress listed it as one of the best new restaurants of 2005. Can't say I usually put much stock in Xpress reviews, but that list also netted Ahora (where I now eat about once a week), so I thought others on it might be worth a try.
Anyway, I've been to East African now at least half a dozen times over the past year, and it's always awesome. Much the same menu as the Horn, but the food just tastes brighter and fresher. If you get the combination platter, each of the three lentil/split pea purees tastes completely different, all of them delicious. The deep red spicy beef stew is wonderful; the mild beef stew is, surprisingly, even better (I love the hot stuff, but the mild has more complex flavours). Even that potato-carrot-cabbage mixture is full of taste and perfectly cooked. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.
Also--the service is quick and friendly, and the place, to my mind, is cleaner, better lit, and just generally more pleasant than its competition. Unfortunately, the Horn got that "Best African" nod from the Xpress: my man and I wanted Ethiopian before a show at the Bytowne on the day that "Best Of" list was published. We walked past the Horn, which was almost full. We were one of only two tables at East African, but oh wow, was it good.
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