Cafe Colucci

Pin It Now!

Cafe Colucci is one of many Ethiopian restaurants speckled all over the Telegraph area of Berkeley and Oakland.  The outside seating makes it perfect for enjoying the sunshine and some good food on a gorgeous day.  One thing to note about Ethiopian food is that its served family style and not family style like Chinese food - its hands only, so make sure you are either not a hypochondriac and you eat with hygienic people so you can enjoy your food without wondering where someone's hands have been.
The tiny kitchen.

Every countries has their own version of a fried dumpling.  Ethiopia is no exception.  Sambussas are usually filled with either lentil or minced meat and wrapped in a thin pastry, then deep fried to a golden brown.  They have both the vegetarian (lentil) and meat at Cafe Colucci.  The meat sambussa is made of sauteed minced beef, olive oil, garlic, onions, red bell peppers, cilantro and jalapeno.  They have a nice light crisp similar to fried wontons.  Its not spicy at all and the the taste is a balanced mixture of all the ingredients.

Inside the meat sambussa you can see that the wrapper is quite thin.  However, it is a little oily.
The injera (enjera) bread is the major starch component of Ethiopian food.  Similar to that of naan in Indian cuisine, its used as a utensil, but in Ethiopia it is also used as a plate.  The injera is spongy and thin in texture with a slightly sour taste (think very mild sourdough bread).  It is unlike any other type of flatbread in both taste and texture.  I've had Ethiopian at a couple places and the presentation of the injera varies in each restaurant.  I really liked the rolled up injera here because it made it easy to hold in one hand as you ripped on pieces for scooping up your food.  Oddly enough, it reminds me of toilet paper.
To the untrained eye, this platter probably looks like a mess, but its actually a taste of a mixture of both the vegetable and meat combination plates.  Its a lot of food and probably feeds about 2-4 people per platter.  They don't really tell you what is what when they drop off the platter so the fun of it is playing the guessing game and trying out bits of everything.  The procedure is to rip up bits of the injera and scope up pieces of meat and vegetable with your hands using the injera and then eat.  You can also eat the injera layered on the bottom of the pan, which has soaked up the juices and flavors of all the dishes.  
I can't telling you exactly what is what, but the meat combination consists of doro alicha (seasoned chicken, fresh ginger, garlic, all in a tumeric sauce), begue wot (lamb cubes and shank with red and yellow onion in Berbere and garlic sauce), sega alicha (extra lean beef simmered in tumeric sauce), minchet abish wot (ground beef simmered with berbere, garlic, and Tekur Azmud aka bishop weed), gomen be sega (fresh collard greens, beef cubes, lamb and ribs with garlic ginger, onions and spiced butter).  The vegetarian combo has azifa (lentils, senafitch, garlic, onions, jalapenos, olive oil and lemon), buticha (chickpea, garlic, onions, jalapeno, and olive oil), messer wot (spicy legume, split lentils in Berbere sauce simmered in Bessobela, garlic, and red onions), kik-alicha (split pea in tumeric sauce with fresh garlic, ginger, Bessobela, and spices), gomen (collard greens, sauteed with onions, tomatoes, garlic and olive oil) and atakilt (cabbage, carrots & potatoes sauteed with onions, fresh tomatoes, ginger & garlic in tumeric sauce).  

Address:                    Cafe Colucci
                                   6427 Telegraph Ave.
Type:                          Ethiopian

Popular chomps:        veggie combo
                                    meat combo
                                    meat sambussa
                                    veggie sambussa
                                    honey wine
                                    kitfo special
                                    doro wat
                                    doro tibs
                                    assa tibs
                                    quanta firfir

Chomp worthy:           veggie combo
                                    meat combo
                                    meat sambussa     

No comments:

Post a Comment