As much as I adore good ol’ Spanish tortilla de patata and croquetas… homegirl’s gotta change it up sometimes! So, I went on a search for one of my all time favoriteee ethnic cuisines from back in NYC: Ethiopian food. And boy, did I find it. At…
Restaurante Etíope Nuria in Malasaña.
If you weren’t looking for it, you’d probably miss it. It’s on the second floor of a building, with a non-flashy label on the door marking you’re in the right place. However, once you walk up the stairs, it’s another world; a bustling space marked by Ethiopian waiters scurrying around with huge platters of wat in hand, smells dancing around of berbere chili spices, and lots of people licking their fingers. Literally…
So, what the heck is Ethiopian food, you ask?
Ok, well it might not be the most photogenic food, but…
If you’ve never tried it, you’re in for a realllll finger-lickin’ treat! And when I say finger lickin’…I mean it, considering there are NO utensils! That’s right. You eat all of the food with a special type of “sponge bread,” called injera. The “bread” is flat like a pancake…but a pancake made of sponge. Talk about fun finger food! It’s made simply with a special kind of “teff” flour and water, fermented over a few days. And v’oila! You have this magical, spongey, sour, succulent bread. Sorry mom, utensils are soo yesterday. Check out this video I found how to eat it like an Ethiopian pro:
The food is traditionally of a saucy substance, stewed with tons of spices and a base of meat or vegetables. These mouth-watering stew-like dishes are called “wat” or “tibs” and come in a vast variety of flavors to choose from.
WARNING: If you don’t like spices, this cuisine is NOT for you. Typical flavors consist of a varying blend of chili peppers, cardamom seeds, cinnamon, cumin, garlic and ginger. Two of the most used spice blends are berbere and mitmita, both full of the ingredients listed above. Remember when I said (two times) that it’s finger lickin’ good? Yea…
What to order:
My recommendation is go for the special for 2 or 4 people. It’s the best bang for your buck, and you get to try a sampling of Nuria’s bests! I tested out both methods: ordering a la carte by the dish, and the special menu. The special ended up being the way to go, averaging at 20 euros per person.
Find it: Restaurante Etiope Nuria
C/ Manuela Malasaña 6 (metro Bilbao)
Call ’em: +34 915 916 327
Hours: Err’day! 11:30 AM- 12:30 AM