Restaurant Review: Horn of Africa

Horn of AfricaWhen visiting Ottawa one night we met some friends at an Ethiopian restaurant – Horn of Africa – close to the Byward Market. I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into but it is not typical Western dining. I kind of expected the restaurant to North-America-fy the food by giving us, you know, cutlery? Luckily the Horn of Africa doesn’t stoop to this level and no cutlery was required in this dinner.I can’t really say I have mastered the technique as of yet since the table in front of me was a lentil-warzone by the time we were finished but I’m confident next time we go back I’ll improve. The trick apparently is taking bigger pieces of the crepes. As you can see you have a choice of a few saucy messes to choose from.

Ethiopian Platter

The idea is that you rip off a piece of tef crepe (similar to buckwheat) and use it as a wrap for you saucy messes. There were a few extremely spicy options and quite a few lentil options (woot!).


The saucy stuff is incredibly flavourful (if you can taste it through the spice!) and rich. The other great thing about this restaurant is it’s incredibly cheap. We had 3 large platters between 5 people – more than enough food – and our bill came to $11 each. If you don’t know Canadian dining prices this is about a third of the price of a regular dinner out. If you’re in around the market give it a try. The decor leaves something to be desired but you can’t beat the price and the novelty of eating with your hands!


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