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Abyssinia has a large menu that boasts a selection of classic dishes. We skip the starters and go straight for the entrées, ordering the Abyssinia platter ($12.99 - photo above) and the Chacha tibs ($12.99).
The food comes quickly and is presented ceremoniously. The ornate Abyssinia platter is placed on our table as the server returns to get the tibs which we can hear sizzling from the kitchen. The piping hot lamb is then scooped onto our giant dish. "Now all I need from you are empty plates," jokes our server.
The Abyssinia platter comes in two sizes, and the one person portion we've chosen is more than enough for two people. A classic sampling tray, it has a little bit of everything and comes with a generous helping of injera.
My favourite is the split pea purée, which is deliciously spicy with hints of cardamom and garlic. Although the kitfo is a slightly dry, the vegetables are fresh and perfectly cooked. The Chacha tibs are fantastic - marinated lamb with a smoky barbecue taste, sautéed with crispy green peppers.
In lieu of dessert, we opt for the Ethiopian coffee ($12.99). The beans are roasted in front of our eyes, and a spectacular coffee carafe is brought out with tiny mugs and a disc of burning incense. As we sip the sweet, syrupy beverage, owner Sirak Ayele comes to chat with us.
He tells us the recently opened restaurant is dedicated to serving everything fresh. "When you order, we start cooking," he says, adding that frozen or canned vegetables are not included in any of the menu items. Ayele tells us every dish is completely customizable and that Italian, Indian or Canadian fare is also available upon request.