DAY 248: Getting inflamed by an African menu

6 May

It's supposed to hurt.

THE drinks list alone of the Nyala African Restaurant in Fitzroy is like a Shakespearean drama:

The first cup is bitter, like life,” the menu says of the mint tea, “the second is sweet, like love; the third is gentle, like death.

I order a coffee, which promises “passionate flavour”. If that’s not code for “even more alluringly vicious than Vietnamese coffee”, I don’t know what is.

I’ve never been to an African restaurant before – which is shameful, as Nyala’s been here for 20 years – and I’m pretty excited. The décor here’s warm and welcoming, and it smells like comfort food.

When my coffee arrives it’s thick and tarry and gives me a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp.  My fella’s beer smells as yeasty and syrupy as a brewery. In good ways. Sometimes you want a drink to really hurt.

Then my meal arrives, and it’s hurty spicy. The fluffy bread is lighter than celestial pancakes, and the hearty Ethiopian stew (you’ll find dishes here from all over the continent) suggests this cow has been marinading since infancy.

Look how fluffy.

Keeper? Yes.

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