A taste of Ethiopia in Dubai

May 7, 2017

If you like to try African food, the Gursha Club at Vista Mare on Palm Jumeirah is a good place to start

Dubai: “If you like to try the very best of African food, you should check out this place.”That’s what a friend told me after feasting on Kalahari fare at Gursha Club, an Ethiopian restaurant at Vista Mare on Palm Jumeriah.

Curious about what my friend (who had recently left Dubai for an overseas assignment) was raving about, I decided to check it out — with another friend. 

Until the time I went to Gursha Club, I had no idea about Ethiopian food, other than a vague concept of what traditional African food is like.   

But at Gursha Club, decked up in traditional Ethiopian art, I was in for both a visual and tasty delight: After I told the waiter why I am there (to explore Ethiopian food), he responded: “You will be surprised”.

And I was.

The recommendation was we have few types of starters in one dish. They comprised of a small portions of of lentil with vegetables, chickpeas soaked in lemon, and small pieces of bread kneading with butter.   

The special bread topped with Ethiopian delicacies‍
The Gursha Club, on the Palm JumeirahImage Credit: Jumana Al TamimI

Gluten-free bread is served with the starters. And I must say that this bread, served rolled, is amazing. It is close to the texture of a pancake and Qataif (which is famous during the holy month of Ramadan in the Middle East). You soak the bread in a small platter of yogurt and coriander, for a mouthwatering treat.   

For the main course, the recommendation was a combination of several little portions spread on a bed of Ethiopian bread. 

They comprised of “Siga” (spicy beef curry), Tibs (grilled beef sautéed in aromatics), Misir (spicy red lentil stew), “shiro” (powdered chickpea), Ye Tsom Firfir (mild vegan stew).

And not to forget our attack on the "Quanta Fifir" (spicy beef stew). It quickly became an armed struggle of sorts — no spoons, no forks, just bare hands.

The interior design is fabulous, informative and elegant — the ceiling is adorned with different patterns representing Ethiopia's various regions.

Framed pictures tell about the story of hair styles of Ethopian women and how it differs according to social status and geographical location. Soft, Ethiopian tunes are piped into the dining area, which overlooks the waterfront at the Palm.

For me, it was indeed a dinner with a difference. 

The total bill for two, including a large bottle of water and two coffee at the end, was Dh224. Not a bad night of Sahara-themed special treat.

So after this unique but delightful gourmet experience, would I encourage you to dine there? It is sure worth a try if you're in the prowl for a good, authentic African delight.


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