Road to NYARW 2016: Second Stop – East African Cuisine

Last week I popped by a beautiful and neat spot called Tsion Cafe that serves Ethiopian / Mediterranean cuisine.  I’ve eaten Ethiopian food once at a restaurant a couple of years ago, so I had some reservations going in to give another restaurant a try. The first experience with the region’s meal of sorts was subpar for many understandable reasons by comparison with this new familiarity. In fact, this recent experience not only trumped my first encounter with their cultural food it made me a believer and a proud new Ethiopian food lover. How refreshing is that, right? The secret simply lies in the way the owner of the ingeniously set us all up for this spectacular Eastern African cuisine experience.

Honey Wine
Honey Wine

Chow Time

Since it made no sense to consume everything on the menu all in one setting (as my heart desired), I started with one of the popular dishes on the menu: The ‘Ethiopian Veggie Combo” paired with the “Doro Tibs” chicken dish (made of caged-free hens) and one order of freshly made delicious ginger ice tea to wash it all down. Everything pictured in the images you see, went into my belly indeed. Oh, I dare not leave out the Ethiopian honey wine I had the honor of indulging in. The honey wine is an Ethiopian novelty drink with its history traced as far back as King Solomon’s time.

Ethiopian Veggie Combo
      Ethiopian Veggie Combo Dish

Tsion Café’s menu incorporates Ethiopian culture, fused with Israelian cuisine and then some American influenced dishes too. Everything on there from the smallest appetizing bites to the dessert was well thought of, tested and presented to you to partake of the East African culture at its best.

The Conception of Tsion Café

BeeJhy Barhany, a beautiful wife and mother of two, decided a little over a year ago, that the time had arrived to share the deep love of her Ethiopian culture. With Tsion café, BeeJhy basically resolved to share the love of her African roots with each person, desiring to bless and enlighten everyone else with the enjoyment of refreshing home cooked meals her beloved family took pleasure in for years. They enjoyed many healthy dishes found on the menu like: ‘Shakshuka’, ‘Malawach’, ‘Ful’, and ‘Injera’, — Dishes rich with historic influences from ancient styles of eating as far back as in biblical times.

Born in Ethiopia and raised in Israel, one can just imagine all the food fusion possibilities from having such a background. Health consciousness on food preparation methods, paired with Africa’s communal ways of dining together, as a family unit, encompasses her Ethiopian food experience as presented to everyone at Tsion café.

In Africa, whether you are an immediate family or a guest in the home, everyone present typically sat to dine together as one big family, especially in regions like the Eastern parts of Africa. The meals get laid out in the center and with clean hands; everyone digs in and participates in the enjoyable dining moment. I love it!

Communal eating style
       Communal eating style

BeeJhy packaged her passion for healthy cooking from the kitchen at home, to bring to the community, demonstrating what I consider a remarkable representation of an Ethiopian food experience. All diet styles gets catered to comfortably, from gluten free, to vegans and meat eaters alike.

Events at Tsion Cafe

As if such a deliciously packaged health conscious food menu doesn’t serve the community well enough, BeeJhy highly regards educating the community through the means of arts. She supports local artists in the region, entertains guests with live music, holds film screenings, book signings and readings and so much more.  For instance, the restaurant space operates as an exhibition where every 6-8 weeks different artist’s work decorate the wall spaces. She also holds film screening on African Diasporas, black Jewish cultures and more. She aims to open people up about the Ethiopian and African culture as a whole.

Featured art at Tsion Cafe
          Featured art at by Hirut Yosef

You’re welcome to join the fun on the road to New York’s African Restaurant Week (NYARW) as we continue to explore Africa’s expansive, rich food culture at many beautiful restaurants. Get to know more about Tsion Cafe here and don’t miss out on their marvelous Ethiopian cuisine.

By: Ms Rexti

Photo Credit :: StreetChicster

 

Categories: Blog,Cuisines,Events,Food

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