Thursday, March 19, 2015

Ase Theodros - Ethiopian Food in the 5th Arrondissement

On the spur of the moment, Tom and I decided to dine at Ase Theodros, an Ethiopian restaurant that is located on a short, nondescript street about 10 minutes walk from our home. We've known about it for years, but because it's off our beaten path, we've never gotten around to eating there before Monday of this week.

Ase Theodros façade
© Discover Paris!

The restaurant is named after Tewodros II, a 19th-century Ethiopian emperor who sought to unify Ethiopia during his reign (1855-1868). The front room consists of a bar and a small dining room and the back room is a larger dining room. Tables are comfortably spaced.

Rear dining room and view of front room
© Discover Paris!

We are somewhat familiar with Ethiopian cuisine and were cautious about ordering too much because we always regret leaving food on our plates. As we studied the menu, we munched on a tasty mix of peanuts and toasted barley.

Our meal: Upper right - peanuts and toasted barley; Middle right - avocat exotique;
Lower right - Beyayenatou; Lower left - mango/coconut sorbet sundae;
Lower middle - injera; Large image - serving dish
Collage and individual photos © Discover Paris!

We each ordered a starter - Tom selected avocat exotique (avocado and mango salad) and appreciated the generous size of the mango wedges surrounding slices of tender avocado that had been drizzled with a mayonnaise-type dressing. I chose samoussas et salade, which are small triangular, savory pastries. Both starters were accompanied by rolls of injera sliced at an angle, which made for an unusual presentation of this standard food item.

Assuming that they'd be filled with beef, chicken, or vegetables, I didn't think to ask what type of samoussas was being served. Unfortunately for me, they were stuffed with tuna and because I don't eat most types of fish, I asked if I could have a replacement. Our server took away my plate without hesitation and a few minutes later, returned from the kitchen to inform me that tuna was the only stuffing available. So I forewent having a starter.

We were pleasantly surprised with the portion size of our main dish, Beyayenatou. This consisted of a platter of several preparations of beef, a single chicken drumstick, a single boiled egg, a crumbly white cheese called aib, and a large variety of vegetables and legumes - beets, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, cabbage, lentils, chickpeas, and salad - all resting on a round of spongy injera. There was plenty of food for both of us.

The condiments served with the main dish were intriguing. There were three preparations, all with a base of chiles. One was a mix of fresh red peppers blended with an alcohol similar to ouzo or pastis, spices, and olive oil. The second was a mix of three types of peppers - Antillean pepper, "regular" green chile pepper, and pili pili. This concoction also contained ginger, lime, shallots, and loads of garlic. It was the spiciest and most flavorful of the three. The third condiment was a powder made from finely ground pili pili peppers. All were delicious!!!

© Discover Paris!

For beverages, Tom ordered an Ethiopian beer called Meta Premium. Blond and slightly bitter, it was a good accompaniment for his meal. I ordered the house cocktail, made from rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, and spices. It was so refreshing that I ordered a second one to accompany my meal.

Meta Premium and house cocktail
© Discover Paris!

Our server told us that Ethiopians do not have the tradition of eating dessert, so the dessert selection was limited to fresh fruits, ice creams and sorbets, and a couple of French classics. I decided to forego dessert, but Tom selected two sorbets - mango and coconut - to finish his meal. He was delighted to receive not simple scoops of sorbet, but rather a sorbet sundae - complete with whipped cream, caramel sauce, and a crispy tubular tuile.

I have to say that this was the finest Ethiopian meal that I've ever eaten! Prices were modest, with the main dish that we ordered costing only 17€. The service was kind, gracious, and accommodating. And the restaurant opens at 7 PM, which is a favorable hour for early diners like Tom and me. Our only regret about Ase Theodros is that we didn't come here to eat when we first learned about it years ago!

Ase Theodros
7, rue de la Collégiale
75005 Paris
Metro: Censier Daubenton or Les Gobelins (Line 7)
Open Monday through Saturday: 7 PM to 11 PM
Closed Sundays


Entrée to Black Paris!™ is a Discover Paris! blog.

If you like this posting, share it with your friends by using one of the social media links below!

No comments: