Mariam: As our longer-term readers know, I’m from Ethiopia, and grew up eating traditional Ethiopian food. Because of that, Ethiopian cuisine is something that always makes me feel like I’m home.
For the uninitiated, Ethiopian cuisine involves using your right hand to fold a piece of injera – a pleasantly sour Ethiopian spongy-pancake made from teff flour – around other food and then plunking that morsel directly into your mouth. Basically, injera is for all intents and purposes both bread and utensil. Eating using injera is the most natural way in the world to eat food, if you ask me 🙂 . [Henry: I’m going to say that chopsticks feel more natural, but that could be because of my East Asian upbringing 😛 ]. [Mariam: You’re nuts! 😛 ]
Queen Sheba does everything it can to evoke Ethiopia. Its walls are adorned with Ethiopian art from many different regions of the country. Great care was taken to ensure that multiple Ethiopian ethnicities are represented in the décor.
The staff is also exceptionally friendly and accommodating, and the owner, who’s from Ethiopia as well, takes great care to emerge from the kitchen on a periodic basis to chat with customers. For me, this part is especially great since I get to reminisce with a fellow countryman about life back in Ethiopia while speaking Amharic (Ethiopia’s official language).
Of course, all of this would be fairly meaningless if the food weren’t good. And it is 🙂 . The injera is authentic, although it’s a bit less sour than how it is back in the old country. Sauces and stews are all carefully spiced and mixed, and the attention to ingredients and cooking method show. Even the appetizers are very good!
[Henry: So let me jump in at this point, because there’s something I really want to highlight. Some of you already know that I’m a hardcore carnivore, but Queen Sheba actually makes me want to eat vegetables, and this coming from me shows that the dishes there both taste delicious on top of having very distinct flavour profiles. [Mariam: Yeah, that’s not news Henry… Veggies are the best!] [Henry: Well, I wouldn’t go that far :-b]
They carry over that care to meat dishes as well.
And even the tea is good!
What food do they serve you ask? Well for the veggie corner you have azifa, shiro wat, missir wat, kik alicha wat, Gommen, fossolia, salata, and azifa. For the meat corner you can find all types of tibs (zilzil, chacha, doro, gored gored, lega), michet abish, doro wat, kitfo and dulet. There’s truly something for everyone.
In a nutshell then, the reasons why Queen Sheba is one of our favourite Ethiopian restaurants are that the food is pretty good and always improving, the staff is delightfully friendly and welcoming, and the place reminds one of us of home and the other of his better half 🙂 !
Did we mention that we went there to celebrate Mariam’s birthday? Yeah! The staff was very keen on helping us with the prep for the cake and even sang Happy Birthday enthusiastically. It really felt like home.
Bonus: This is the pictorial story of Queen Sheba, displayed right on one of the walls:
Where to find Restaurant Queen Sheba:
Address: 4525 Av du Parc, Montréal, QC H2V 4E4
Phone: (514) 840-9494