Ethiopian restaurant in Amsterdam: Eetcafe Ibis – reviewed
In the entire month of July, I think I ate out in Amsterdam only three times. This frankly bizarre behaviour has reasons behind it: I was on holiday for ten days, several evenings were too hot to do anything other than sit in front of a fan with a wet towel, and Mr Foodie had knee surgery so couldn’t bike anywhere or even walk very far. But all this makes for not a lot happening on the blog…
Last Saturday, however, and in keeping with the African theme of my review at the start of the month, we made it all of 400 metres down the road to Eetcafe Ibis. It’s an Ethiopian restaurant I’d biked past plenty of times but never really noticed – tucked into a row of eateries on the Weesperzijde, overlooking the Amstel river. If the weather is good, Ibis has a decent-sized pavement terrace, but the inside looks inviting too. We couldn’t resist ordering the “African cocktail” from the drinks menu, which was a tropical concoction of rum and passionfruit served in half a coconut. A bit too sweet for my taste, but bear in mind I have a low tolerance for sugar.
To tease the palate while we waited for the main event, we ordered ayeb begommen – a spicy cheese and kale dish served with bread that almost had the texture of cake. With its savoury tang and hint of chilli, it was absolutely my kind of starter.
But Ethiopian cuisine is known for its huge platters of spicy, sauce-laden dishes served with injera – the region’s signature pancakes that are sour to the tongue and spongy to the touch. And Ibis didn’t disappoint: we tried both the meat and the vegetarian “Ibis specials”, both of which included three-five different dishes plus sides. On balance, I think I preferred the vegetable version, although the chicken drumstick with egg was also a hit with us both. I also particularly liked all the lentil-based sides that seemed to be a staple – certainly spicier, fresher and more flavourful than many of the lentil dishes we have in Europe.
Dinner came to around €30 each, although (for once) we didn’t drink very much. We were stuffed to bursting by the end of dinner, though, and were glad it was only a short stroll home… Normal service will resume in August!