PERTH | Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant is an unassuming restaurant in Perth’s northern suburbs, and one of the few places in the city where you can find Ethiopian cuisine.
The restaurant was opened two years ago by husband and wife duo Shimelis and Fasika. The duo are both chefs, trained in cooking multiple global cuisines, with over 40 years of experience between them. They dreamt of opening their own Ethiopian restaurant when they immigrated to Perth seven years ago, working in kitchens across town and saving to make the dream a reality.
The restaurant is named for the mountainous region in Ethiopia’s north, which is home several UNESCO heritage listed sites, dating back to the 12th century AD. At Lalibela, you’ll find a menu full of the traditional dishes that Ethiopia is known for. Spongy, light injera, with an assortment of curries, stews, soups, and more.
Shimelis and Fasika’s nephew guided my friends and I through the menu, and we were happy to take his lead. As is often the case at Ethiopian restaurants that I’ve been to, the best place to start is with a beyaynetu, or combination platter. Yefesek beyaynetu gets you a selection of meat stews and curries, while ytsom beyaynetu is all about the veggies and legumes.
I recommend getting both. They’re served upon a bed of injera, with rolled injera to the side. Tear off a piece of injera with your hands, scoop up some food, and enjoy. With a group of people, it’s a fun, communal way to eat, which matches the warming atmosphere and service here. It’s all very delicious, spice driven, fresh, and full of vibrant flavours.
Particular highlights are the doro wet, a slow cooked chicken stew simmered in a hot pepper sauce, served with a hard-boiled egg, and soft Ethiopian white cheese; and yesehkila shiro. The latter, which you have to order separate to the beyanyetu, is a bubbling, finely pounded roasted chickpea stew. It’s has a well balanced sweet and savoury flavour, and a wonderful velvety texture.
To finish, order a traditional Ethiopian coffee set. A large pot of rich, bitter (there’s sugar if you want it) coffee with sweet and salty popcorn and incense to the side. There’s sodas and juices in the fridge, with BYO offered if you want to bring in your own alcohol.
Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant
219 Ravenswood Drive
Western Australia 6061
Sun, Tue – Fri: 10:00am to 8:00pm
Sat: 10:00am to 9:00pm