Sunday, December 28, 2014

Zeni Ethiopian Restaurant

Big platter with our combo orders. From 8 o'clock : lamb, cheese, beef, chicken, lentil, veggie, injera, yellow split peas, collar greens.
We happened to walk pass this restaurant one night and saw that this restaurant was pretty busy. We saw groups of people sitting down circling a low round table  containing food and everyone just used their fingers to dig in. So we decided we have to give it a try.

One weekend me and hubby went there and hubby asked if we could sit on one of those low round table but we were told that the area were fully occupied. So we got a regular clothed table. We looked at the menu and decided based on what most people have recommended on Yelp. Sambusa for appetizer and an order of meat combo and an order of vegetarian combo.

Our appetizer came out piping hot. It's a triangular shape pastry that's quite flaky. The filling was lentil. The taste was pretty mild and even the spicy chili paste that came with it didn't add much flavor.

When our order came I was amazed. It was served in this mighty big stainless steel platter. One side were the meat combo - lamb, beef, home made cheese and chicken. The other side were the vegetarian - lentil, collard greens, and split yellow peas. And upon examining the contents of the platter, I realized that there were a layer of bread (injera) covering the bottom of the platter. And there was also a plate of roll injera on the side.
A plate of rolled up injera bread

Injera is a typical bread served with Ethiopian cuisine. It is light and spongy. The way it was served was cut out of a big pancake and then rolled up and piled up on a plate. Use it to scoop up the dish. But actually I cheated and used our fork to pick up the dish.
The spongy injera bread when unrolled

The dishes used quite a lot of spices and it had a bit similarities with Indian dishes though more on the milder side. The beef dish had a rich flavor and the minced chicken had a stronger pungent cardamom smell. The vegetarian dishes in my opinion would have tasted better with rice. I am sorry. I guess I am not used to the taste of injera.

We ended up bringing some of the leftover dishes home.

Zeni Ethiopian Restaurant
1320 Saratoga Ave
San Jose, CA 95129
408 615 8282