I recently moved house from a unit on coronation drive in Milton/Auchenflower to a house in Moorooka. Milton and Moorooka are very different neighbourhoods in a variety of ways but let’s focus on the important stuff: food. Milton’s claim to culinary fame is Park road: a restaurant strip that is perfectly constructed into tricking oldies and tourists into believing that it’s actually good. The faux Eiffel tower landmark in Park Road perfectly symbolises the restaurant strip: All glitz, but no originality and no authenticity.
NOTE:The exception to my cynicism is of course The Scratch, which remains one of Brisbane’s best craft beer bars.
Moorooka, in contrast, is far from glitzy but rich in authenticity and culture. At one end of town there’s an Indian supermarket, about halfway down the street there’s a Persian store filled with bedspreads next to perfumes next to pot plants, and further still there’s a Church of Christ Worship centre. There’s also more hair salons than anywhere else in Brisbane – I swear every third shop is a hair salon. But back to food…
Yeshi Buni was the first restaurant I visited in Moorooka and it was great! Yeshi Buna describes it’s cuisine as being Ethio-African, which – I can now tell you, is a cuisine characterised by Injera, Wott, and Kibe.
Here’s a crash course:
Injera: Injera is a spongy, pancake-like, flat-bread of sorts that lines your plate and also acts as your utensils throughout your meal. Injera is made with a grain called Teff which will is probably shortlisted to become the next superfood. Teff is very high in fibre, calcium, protein, and minerals, and is also gluten free! The injera itself is slightly sour (but only in a subtle way – no more so than sourdough bread) and is filled with tiny holes like a crumpet. It’s perfect for soaking up the rich flavours of ethiopian food and is satisfyingly filling. Rip off a chunk of Injera and hold it between your thumb and fingers. Now drop it on top of a portion of your meal and capture it by bundling it up your injera. If you haven’t ended up dropping anything on the floor or putting your fist in the Wott then congratulations – you’ve learnt how to eat the Ethiopian way!
Wott: You’ll see the word Wott (what?) a lot on the Yeshi Buna menu. Wott refers to an Ethiopian stew or curry and is a very common Ethiopian dish.
Kibe: Kibe is what makes all the dishes at Yeshi Buna taste somewhat similar. Kibe is a clarified butter (or ghee) that has been simmered with herbs and spices such as fenugreek, cumin, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, basic, garlic, and nutmeg. According to the Yeshi Buna website:
“The kibe imparts a flavour so balanced and intense that it is almost impossible to discern an individual spice”
This is very accurate. The flavours at Yeshi Buna are memorable but not distinct. Ethiopian food is beautiful and rich but also very complex.
A great option for your first visit to Yeshi Buna is the ‘Meat and Vegetarian Combination’ which is comprised of Ye Beg Alicha, Doro Wott, Tibs Wott, Minchet Abish, Gomen Be Siga, Atikilt Wott, Kik Alicha, Fassolia, Missir Wott, and Salad.
And, just in case your African dialects aren’t up to scratch, here’s a picture:
Once you’ve discovered your favourite dishes you can always purchase individual meals as you choose, but I’ve never been able to get past the exciting feasts that the combination dishes provide.
Overall eating at Yeshi Buna is an experience that I’d recommend to anyone. It’s not without faults – it’s got a pretty daggy interior and their website is atrocious (management if you’re reading this I’ll build you a new website free of charge), but those small flaws are soon forgotten when you’re shoving your face with incredibly satisfying grub. The service here is great with the manager coming out for a chat each time I’ve been in.
Yeshi Buna is located at 1/131 Beaudesert Rd, Moorooka.
Review by Andrew Bloyce