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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Exotic Ethiopian Eats

MTAfrican motifs decorate Ethiopian eatery Addis Abeba's dining room.
A veteran restaurant in Moscow's ethnic eatery scene, Bungalo Bar has long been one of the few places in the city -- if not the only one -- serving Ethiopian food. But given that the name seemed to suggest cheesy cocktail bar more than exotic cuisine, it was unlikely to lure adventurous diners seeking new taste sensations. Its recent renaming as Addis Abeba, after the Russian for Ethiopia's capital, is therefore only logical.

Besides the name, little else has changed, however. The design may not be as slick as some of the more modern Africa-themed restaurants, such as Novikov's Ju-Ju, but its down-to-earth feel will set many expats at ease. The decor is a rich assortment of African motifs, animal skins and Christian symbolism -- Ethiopia is, after all, the world's second-oldest official Christian nation after Armenia.

In addition to the European section, the menu features 16 Ethiopian dishes, such as mesir wat, a lentil puree mixed with spicy green chillis (220 rubles), zilzil tibs, sauteed strips of beef with hot chillis and spices (400 rubles), and ginger firfir, strips of injera pancake mixed with ginger (380 rubles).

For the uninitiated, perhaps the best option is the 500-ruble Bungalo house assortment, which allows you to try more than a dozen different dishes and is large enough for two. The various wat stews and sauteed tibs are served on a huge traditional injera sour-dough pancake, with more pancakes rolled up on the side. As is the traditional way of eating Ethiopian food, diners tear off pieces of pancake and use them to scoop up the toppings -- mostly vegetarian, some even spicy.

Addis Abeba is in particularly good form on Saturday evenings, when a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony fills the dining hall with delicious aromas. The coffee is free, in unlimited quantities, served with free popcorn.

6/1 Zemlyanoi Val, 916-2431, 10 a.m.-midnight, M. Kurskaya.