Food Scene: Saba Ethiopian eatery

Saba serves up an authentic Ethiopian experience

Ethiopian Australian entrepreneur Saba Alemayoh has opened an entirely gluten-free Ethiopian eatery on Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.

Saba’s Ethiopian Restaurant was conceived by 25-year-old Saba, who was born in Sudan to Ethiopian parents and immigrated to Australia 16 years ago.

Serving the authentic cuisine of the Tigray region, Saba’s menu is a collection of meat, vegetarian and vegan stews flavoured with the signature Ethiopian berbere spice blend.

Reflecting traditional dining custom, the menu at Saba’s Ethiopian Restaurant is designed to be shared. The stews are presented on platters lined with the fermented flatbread injera, a staple of Ethiopian cuisine.

Used as an edible utensil, injera is made from the flour of teff, a gluten-free grain native to Ethiopia.

“I began importing teff flour in 2014 to make it more accessible to Australians. My younger sister has coeliac disease so as well as using teff flour for injera we’ve grown up with it as a substitute for regular flour in various dishes.” Saba said.

Saba oversees the front of house, management and business development side of her namesake restaurant while her mother, Tekebash Gebre, is the creative mastermind in the kitchen.

“My mother has always been known to friends and family as a fantastic Ethiopian cook. Now she has the platform to share her cooking with people from all over Melbourne.” Saba said.

Guests can expect the interior of Saba’s Ethiopian Restaurant to pay homage to Ethiopian culture. Colourful mesob tables are situated throughout and a collage of handmade sefe baskets decorate the walls, some of which were crafted by Saba’s relatives.

The complete Ethiopian dining experience is embraced on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1pm, with a traditional coffee ceremony. The ceremony can take up to two hours and involves the roasting and grinding of coffee beans, which are then boiled with hot water in a jebena and served in small cups (finjal). The cups are refilled three times over the course of the afternoon as the drinker relaxes and enjoys the time-honoured custom.

Saba’s Ethiopian Restaurant offers an authentic Ethiopian dining experience and is located at 328 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065.

For bookings and further information visit http://sabashealthfoods.com.au/.

Opening Hours:

Monday Closed

Tuesday 5.30pm – 10.30pm

Wednesday 12.00pm -10.30pm

Thursday 5.30pm – 10.30 pm

Friday 12.00pm -10.30 pm

Saturday 12.00pm-10.30 pm

Sunday 12.00pm -10.30 pm

About Anna-Maria Megalogenis 167 Articles
Anna-Maria has been writing for Street Press in Melbourne and Sydney for over 20 years. She is passionate about food, music and the arts, is an avid reader and used to hand write reviews for Beat Magazine at the Great Britain Hotel, where a patron once suggested she was ripping off articles in Rolling Stone magazine.
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