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Finally the western suburbs of Melbourne have a place where they can explore the rich – and often very spicy – East African cuisine of the Great Rift Valley. Locals to Footscray and Nicholson Street in particular are going to want to make the jaunt to Queen of Sheba, an Ethiopian restaurant with a comprehensive menu of spicy delicacies, imported African beers and, of course, a whole heap of strong coffee!
Ethiopian cuisine is finally coming into their own in Melbourne, with a crop of African restaurants opening their doors and opening up the minds of the city’s foodies to what for many is largely unexplored culinary territory. If you’re finding your palate jaded by Indian and South Asian food, but love your spice, then East African cookery is for you – this is hot stuff and it can be found right here in Footscray thanks to Queen of Sheba, a warm and friendly restaurant that’s recently had a refurb and is under new management.
Tibbs, gored, shiro. Unfamiliar dishes but ones you’ll love if you like hearty stews with a lot of spicy kick. You’re going to need a brew or two to keep your tongue cool, so make sure you wash it down with an Ethiopian St George’s beer or two. Yebeg and derek tibbs are both dishes centred on tender chopped lamb sauteed in herbs and spices, while zilzil tibbs is a dish that marinates beef strips in Berbere. Kitfo is lean beef finely chopped and cooked with spiced butter and very hot chillies. There’s plenty at this Melbourne African restaurant for vegetarians, too: get yourself down to Footscray’s Nicholson Street and order up a combination of four Ethiopian vegetarian dishes – still spicy!