Tear into warm injera and mouth-watering stews at Northcote's new home of Ethiopian cuisine. Now open on High Street, MESOB takes its name from the traditional straw-woven containers that serve as both bread basket and communal dining table. And if you've ever eaten Ethiopian before, you'll know that the communal element is half the fun.
Forgoing cutlery, diners at MESOB instead use the injera (a traditional Ethiopian gluten-free flatbread made with teff flour) to shovel their food directly from share plate to mouth. It's perfect for messy eaters, or anyone who enjoys licking their fingers clean at the end of a meal.
Start with dips and sambosa (pastry stuffed with spiced beef or fish) before moving onto a selection of stews made with chicken, beef or lentils. One main in particular that grabs our attention is the doro wot, described on the menu at the national dish of Ethiopia: mildly spiced chicken simmered with onions, ginger and spices, topped with a whole hard-boiled egg. They also offer a number of colourful chef's platters, for customers who can't make up their minds (or just want to try a bit of everything). Ethiopian cuisine doesn't typically feature dessert, but keep your eyes on MESOB's specials board for the occasional sweet treat.
Of course MESOB isn't the northside's only new Ethiopian joint, with Saba's Ethiopian Restaurant opening in Fitzroy late last year. We're already on record as being big fans of their work, so here's hoping their Northcote compatriot is up to scratch.
Image: avry via Flickr.