Why this excellent restaurant is no longer a hidden gem

Nowadays, it’s fairly common to hear about a new restaurant specialising in a particular cuisine. But this wasn’t the case several years back.

While some of the ‘unique’ old-timers have faded away, others have endured the test of time.

One perfect example is Bonna Annee, the Ethiopian restaurant that was, for the longest time, every foodie’s best kept secret.

Although no longer a hidden gem, this unassuming eatery has maintained its charm.

The menu features genuine Ethiopian dishes packed with flavour – and plenty of spice.

The restaurant gets quite busy, even on weeknights, and is beautifully decked out in traditional woven seats and baskets, the walls adorned with artwork that reflect Ethiopia’s culture.

As I dine alone, the waitress tells me that one menu item is enough given the generous portions. So it’s key wet for one: the tender beef stew, served in a thick, spicy sauce is delicious, with a strong flavour that instantly kicks in. It’s served – as the majority of Ethiopian dishes are – with injera, spongy, sourdough bread that is a staple in the African country.

It must be clear that I’m a first-timer as the waitress, sensing my embarrassment, patiently guides me on how to eat the dish. After a few minutes, I get the hang of stripping off pieces of the thin injera, wrapping it around the meat and dunking it into the stew.

Leaving stuffed, it’s a short but sweet – and certainly satisfying – introduction to Ethiopian cuisine. But next time, I’ll be back with friends to sample even more tasty Ethiopian flavours.

Al Zahiyah, opposite old Blood Bank building. Daily 10am-midnight. Contact: 02 491 2128, facebook.com/bonnaanne


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