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Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant

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Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant

Authentic Ethiopian cuisine on Long Street

Over 40 years ago a fossil was discovered in the Ethiopian town of Hadar. This fossil changed the perception of human evolution, proving that one way or another, on the evolutionary spectrum, all of humanity originated in Africa. This fossil was named Lucy.

And now, in 2017, Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant on Long Street celebrates all that Ethiopia has to offer: food, warmth and the rich majesty of culture.

Owner Haset Girma was inspired by her heritage and the diverse flavours that their cuisine has to offer. “We don’t go to school to learn how to cook, we learn from our mothers and I wanted to share the taste and flavours with people who has never tasted Ethiopian food before.”

As we walk in to Lucy, we are greeted by the smiles of the staff who allow us to choose our desired table. The space is simple with various touches of Ethiopia. We decide to settle around a traditional palm raffia mesob which transforms into a table once the food arrives. But before that happens, the staff at Lucy brings us a basin and a pitcher of perfectly warmed water to wash our hands. Lucy does not provide knives and forks, giving Capetonians an authentic Ethiopian experience from the moment that they walk through the door.

As we sit down and our food arrives, Haset serves a variety of dishes in different bowls on a larger than life injera (a staple food from Ethiopia). This soft, flat bread is made with rice and Teff flour. Resembling a pancake; it can be used as an edible plate, or to spoon out and eat the contents of the many dishes. On our injera comes my new-found favourite: the doro wot. This mildly spiced chicken stew has been simmering for hours in a combination of Ethiopian spices and is served with hard boiled eggs. Also making an appearance is the all-time Ethiopian favourite, tibs. This dish features tender beef or lamb cubes sautéed and cooked with peppers and onions, served on a little pot which is heated up by charcoal. The shiro wot is also placed before us, catering to patrons of various dietary requirements, this vegetarian dish is made from chickpea flour, simmered with garlic, onion and the traditional berbere (full-bodied dried and ground spices) which is made into a sauce.

Tip: Vegan and vegetarian patrons can enjoy the delectable flavours of authentic Ethiopian foods as the cuisine not only caters to carnivores.

And to top this delectable dish off, Haset serves us some of the strongest coffee I’ve ever had: authentic Ethiopian buna. This cornerstone of Ethiopian culture is served with freshly popped popcorn, on a beautifully decorated tray with fresh flowers and burning Frankincense which compliments the aromas of the bitter coffee.

Opening Hours: Wednesday - Monday: 12pm – 11pm | Tuesday: Closed

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By Marian Volkwyn

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281 Long Street | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 422 1707 | happyhaset@gmail.com

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