Restaurant Of The Week: Little Addis, Johannesburg

This charming little Ethiopian restaurant is tucked between hip stores and cafes in Joburg’s trendy Maboneng Precinct. It can be easy to miss if you’re not paying attention due to its small size, but once there you’ll find a few outdoor tables and six indoor tables waiting for you.

When we arrived (we had a reservation), we were seated immediately at one of the tables. The waiter noticed the wine we brought, and brought a cork over, for no fee. (Little Addis doesn’t serve alcohol and is BYOB, so it’s best to come prepared.) Inside, the decor features pinkish red clay walls (much like you’d see in Ethiopia) along with large black and white portraits of famous Ethiopians, like Haile Selassie.

Little Addis Cafe foodThe menu is quite simple with no more than 10 dishes to choose from. We were in a group so decided to sample several things, including the Yebore beef stew, vegetarian platter and beef tibs. Everything was delicious, but the Yebore was by far the standout in terms of flavor profile and level of heat. It comes with some Ethiopian cheese, but we had wished there was a bit more to tame each bite. All dishes were served with injera, and it’s some of the best I’ve ever had. The texture is perfect, not too soggy, and not too heavy where you can’t finish your meal. It also lacks the tart and sour flavor that some injeras have, which is a plus in my opinion. The vegetarian platter came with eight different items, including beet root, spinach, chickpeas, mashed carrots and potatoes, spicy tomatoes and several combinations of lentils. The potatoes were the first to go. The beef tibs, while good were somewhat lacking in flavor compared to the other dishes, but still have plenty of punch compared to say, a hamburger.

Service was friendly and prompt the entire time, and we didn’t feel rushed at all. Overall it’s one of the best bang-for-your-buck Ethiopian spots in town.

Tips: Be prepared to bring cash, since they don’t take credit cards. We ended up walking to the nearby ATM, leaving one person behind, to get the cash. There is no bathroom here either, so try not to chug too many bottles of water beforehand (however, if you must, you can walk outside to the public toilets). Be sure to call ahead if you don’t want to wait, as it obviously gets full easily.

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