Our final discovery for July was once again in the newly discovered territory of Flemington - or perhaps Kensington, as the business addresses on the south side of Racecourse Road seem to fluctuate from one to the other. But first there was the traditional stop at the legendary Diksteins. As I slid open the door to the cosy bar and stepped in from the cold of a midwinter Melbourne evening, the barman greeted me with one welcoming word: "VB?" Nothing has changed after all! (other than my choice of beverage).
Once the city worker had escaped from the office and joined me at Diksteins for a quick cider, we walked up to Flagstaff Station, bound for the Crazyburn train to Newmarket. The train arrived promptly but then spoiled the effect by dawdling all the way to North Melbourne. After finally reaching Newmarket we arrived rather late at Boris's table at The Abyssinian. Mr 31 and Mr 28 were already sampling the Harar, so we lost no time in joining them.
|Hurrah for Hara!|
We decided on the easy option with one vegetarian combo and one meat and fish combo to share. While waiting for our meals, we endeared ourselves to the staff by expressing our appreciation of the pleasant selection of Ethiopian music.
Our dishes soon arrived covered with the traditional straw hats, which were removed to display an array of goodies set out on large wheels of injera. The picture below is of the vegetarian combo, some way into its demolition.
Although each platter looked like an enormous amount of food for two, we managed to get through most of it, helped along with some more Harar. There was a nice combination of flavours and textures in the vegetarian combo, with our favourite being the 'tumtummo' (spicy lentils). The combo also included cabbage and carrots; large cubes of pumpkin; spiced chickpeas and a green salad. The meat combo contained many of the vego favourites with added fish, goat and chicken options.
By the time we had finished our early feast, the restaurant was starting to become busy. The two musicians of our party betook themselves to the Ascot Vale Hotel for open mic night, while the remaining two jumped aboard a handy passing 57 tram, which took us on a scenic tour of North Melbourne before arriving at Melbourne Central. By the magic of Metro trains we were soon back home in the peaceful city of Boroondara, the lights and bustle of Racecourse Road just a distant memory.