Monday, November 03, 2008

October 25, 2008: Cafe Lalibela

Jo-Lyn had mustered up a gang of us to check out The Go Show in Footscray - a strange combination of bus tour and community arts extravaganza that was on as part of the Melbourne Arts Festival. We've not spent enough time exploring the astonishing array of food options in Footscray, so this was a good opportunity to sample something new. Between the Melbourne Veg Food Guide and the Cheap Eats Guide, it became clear that Cafe Lalibela was the place to be, so Cindy booked us a table for an early dinner.

There aren't too many surprises at Ethiopian restaurants, particularly for vegos - it's lentil stews, split pea curries, maybe a few vegies and a few little piles of salad. Cafe Lalibela offer up yetsom beyaynetu - a mix of all their vego dishes plonked on a glorious platter of injeera. We were early enough (or the others were late enough) to be granted full ordering responsibility, so it was vego mix all round. This equated to two gigantic platters, with enough food to feed 8 people comfortably.

The sour, fermented injeera is always delicious and the whole process of ripping, dipping and mopping up is great fun, guaranteeing a good time regardless. Luckily, the food here matches the fun, with each of the stews providing a slightly different flavour - from the spicy lentils to the milder and slightly tangy vegie curry, it all hit the spot. Everything is soft and paste-like - perfect for scooping up in little parcels of bread - remarkably I only ended up with one stew-coloured stain down my front! Note of caution: don't turn to the salad as something to cool your mouth down - it's basically equal parts lettuce and green chilli. Throw in some crisp Ethiopian beer and lively conversation and you've got an excellent Saturday evening in the west.

Address: 91 Irving Street, Footscray
Ph: 9687 0300
Price: Vego meals - $12


  1. We went to The Go Show as well (we thought it was a hoot!), although we ended up at Pho Hung Vuong for some noodly goodness instead.

    I love Lalibela, although I did have yellow fingers for the next week. I must refine my eating with hands technique ;-)

  2. They also make the best hot chocolates there. Comes with marshmallow and is served in a nice big mug for $2...or was it $3? : )

  3. Yes, Mellie, my fingers acquired a distinct yellow tinge, too - but those potatoes were just so good!

    Hi, ...FWMTS! I haven't seen a hot chocolate that cheap in years, will have to try it next time. :-)

  4. I also really want to try their coffee roasting ceremony! Last time I was sitting right next to the coffee area and it smelled soooo goood. If it's as good as their food I'm sure it would be amazing.

  5. Yum! Licking my fingers in memorian. This Friday I am going to another ethiopian joint, this one is in Kensington. I will report back to you, but the cheap eats wet itself about it. The Abyssinian. I like the sound of it already.

  6. Lisa, I noticed the coffee ceremony on the menu! It looks fascinating.

    Cool, JL! I will quiz you about the Abyssinian later. :-)