A while ago when I was still living in Shanghai, a lady who was a globetrotter told me that I should really try Ethiopian food. I have some basic knowledge about African vegetarian food from cookbooks but haven’t really tried any in real life. I have been curious about it since then. Now I was surprised to find a restaurant in Uppsala serving Ethiopian food, and luckily they had some vegan options!
We booked by email ahead to secure our dinner table. The restaurant was located quite close to the center attraction, which is the famous old cathedral. The interior has a Nordic taste: minimal, simple yet cozy. Some Africa inspired paintings and artworks were decorated here and there.
Staff are young and speak perfect English. So if you don’t know Swedish it’s not a big problem. They are also happy to help you read the menu.
We have 6 different choices on the vegan menu so we tried all of them. The “Allitcha” is a combination of light strew of potato, carrots, paprika and green beans, cooked in herbs. “Vitkålallitcha” is cabbage stew in garlic and herbs. “Timtimo/misir” is cooked lentil paste mixed with garlic, onion and herbs. “Shiro” is the Eastern African peasant’s everyday food. It’s grounded chickpea cooked in Berbere sauce, which is an Ethiopian sauce made of chili peppers, garlic, ginger, basil, korarima, rue, ajwain or radhuni, nigella, and fenugreek. (I admit that I haven’t even heard of the name of some spices here, hehe). “Silsi/Tsom wot” is just the berbere sauce with onion and the restaurant’s home-made spices. “Hamli/Gomen” is oil fried spinach with garlic and herbs. The sauce itself is a bit spicy, but quite manageable in small doses, compared to some dishes in Indian or Thai cuisines. All dishes were served with a special sponge-like, very “flexible” pancake (that could do yoga perfectly I believe) made of barley, wheat flour, corn and teff flour. Those dishes were quite mild yet tasty. Though I don’t know if the owner has adapted them to local taste so they were milder than their original version. Honey also tried one of those mango-infused African beer with a cute giraffe on the bottle.
We were quite happy about our dinner and would love to come back again if we visit Uppsala. If you want something “unique” and vegan in Uppsala, even though it’s not Swedish, I recommend Messob!