Nyala; African Cusine
We decided we should try a whole new different cuisine and chose this African restaurant since we had heard good reviews about it in the past. It was fairly empty when we arrived as they just opened at 6 o’clock for dinner on a weeknight but it supposedly can get quite busy on weekends. The seating area was surprisingly quite large and the place looked spacious and grand due to the high ceilings and african art adorned the walls.
Since we had never tried African food before, we studied the menu extensively, laughed at our incompetence to pronounce some of the menu items and finally ordered. The food took a while to come considering it was still quiet.
Kuku Na Nazi ($22) was a chicken curry main that had mild spices served with rice or couscous. This was a dish that originated from Kenya. The smell of the spices made us really hungry and we couldn’t start to eat.
Nyala special ($21) was a traditional Ethiopian beef stew with homemade periperi sauce, when we asked if it was possible to make it less spicy unfortunately they said no, probably since they stew it for a long time. So it was quite spicy for us but the beef was really lean, tender and had a lot of flavour, it was served with a small side of spicy mixed vegetables and also came with injera.
Mains came with a serve of couscous or injera bread which is the traditional accompaniment to most Ethiopian dishes, we chose injeera since we had never tried it before, it seemed to be a cross between a crepe and a plain pancake, looked light and fluffy but it was actually quite filling.
The third main was the Meat Combo ($24) where you could choose any 3 meat dishes and it comes with a small serve of salad with a choice of Injera, rice or couscous. We picked Doro Tibs, Beg Tibs and Domeda, the best one out of the three was Beg Tibs. It had well marinated lamb cubes tossed with fresh tomatos, it was super juicy and had heaps of flavour.
And for dessert we decided to try ‘Tafach Mooz’ ($7.50) which was a compilation of bananas, brown sugar, cream cheese and cinammon, lightly baked. It basically looked like a pile of banana mush with cream on the side. It was quite sweet and the banana tasted a little burnt and we probably didn’t enjoy it as much as we should have.
It was a really interesting dinner, would have liked a bigger serve of salad with the mains but dishes were well prepared, really flavoursome and we would come back for another serving of Beg Tibs.
(03) 9419 9128
Level 1, 356 Brunswick St
Lunch: Fri to Sun: 12am – 3pm
Dinner: Mon to Sun: 6pm – Midnight
Price range: $15 -25
Specialty: Traditional african food, Nyala Special – a red curry with stewed beef (above)
Service: Great, friendly service
Interior: High Ceilings, African Art on the walls, african pictures surround the lights.
Music: African Music
Vegetarian Options: ✓✓