Prior to opening their eat-in operation about six months ago, Muya was primarily a bakery supplying injera to locations across southern Ontario, including Toronto.

By Alex Bielak (Waterloo Region Record) |

At its most fundamental level breaking bread draws us closer and offers insights into other cultures. Tearing injera, an Ethiopian flatbread, at Muya Restaurant was a welcoming introduction to the flavours and textures of this east African cuisine.

Prior to opening their eat-in operation about six months ago, Muya was primarily a bakery supplying injera to locations across southern Ontario, including Toronto. They began to offer a few dishes to take out and an adjacent storefront still serves in this capacity.

Muya’s website does not list opening hours, so we called and were assured they were open and no reservation was needed. On arrival, we entered the near-empty restaurant, and a customer went into the kitchen to alert the owner of our arrival. We were soon studying a menu portraying and describing the many stewed dishes available.

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Unfamiliar with the names of the dishes, it was frankly a bit overwhelming, so on the advice of the chef’s wife, we opted for the Muya Ultimate Combination ($34.99). Enough for three hungry people, it provided an assortment of vegetarian and meat dishes, covering the spectrum of menu offerings, and was far better value than ordering a variety of individual dishes. We also got some locally-bottled hibiscus tea ($2.99) to drink.

That’s when things got interesting. A large round metal tray was quickly brought to the table, but no cutlery. A dozen small mounds of food rested in the tray on a large spongy flatbread. An Ethiopian staple, the crêpe-like injera is made with ancient grain flour, leavened with in-house sourdough. Five additional rolls rested at the periphery of the platter, and more in a basket. The hostess showed us how to tear strips of injera to pinch up portions of each stew with our right hands.

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