The poster in question is on the wall here at Ras Dashen, just one of Footscray's Ethiopian eateries. It doesn't look much from the outside - indeed, you might wonder if it's even open, it looks so dark - but I highly encourage you to step in.
We ordered the vegetarian combination which is everything you see (bar the pot in the centre) for a rather staggering $10. Red and brown lentils, beans, cabbage and carrot...all delicious, albeit rather unusually served room temperature. In the middle was our order of doro wot ($10), chicken pieces cooked in an intense, deep maroon sauce made with very slow-cooked onion and berbere spice. It wasn't crazily loaded with chicken pieces, but it's the sauce that gets me going more than anything.
The prices are pretty fabulous. If you want a good intro, I'd get the veg combo plus number 5 (the Misto - two different mincemeat curries). Maybe add in a doro wot if you've got three people dining, and a tibs if you've got four. I like to think of tibs like stir-fries - they're a bit drier than things with "wot" in the name, which tend to be wet and saucy.
You might look at an Ethiopian menu and think it all sounds the same. I can remember going to a Mexican restaurant in the US for the first time 10+ years ago and reading "tortilla, sauce, cheese... tortilla, sauce, cheese..." It all sounded like exactly the same dish reworded 20 times. Obviously I couldn't have been more wrong. Keep experimenting, ordering, trying and you'll soon have your favourite dishes locked down.
I do rather love the ginger tea served in many of Footscray's African eateries. It's super spicy, sweet and delicious.
Like nearby Konjo, Ras Dashen will do traditional Ethiopian coffee without the whole ceremony (other places usually reserve it for large bookings and charge quite a bit of money). Love that they still serve the jebena (pot) along with the traditional incense. I've got a post brewing (get it?) about Konjo and Ethiopian coffee, so stay tuned to learn a bit more about this tradition.
And while we're on the subject of bad puns - Ras Dashen. Dash in!
121 Nicholson St, Footscray
Phone: 9687 3293