Ethiopian Explosion: Langano Skies

August 23, 2010

It's been a long time since I've had a chance to chill with some friends from work, so as Iman suggested, we went out together to try some Ethiopian food! Philippe, Joy, Iman, Jobin, Claire, Tara and I headed out to Langano Skies on Whyte Avenue to check out their food. I looked up some reviews on this place beforehand, and this place was RAVED about in every single one I read!

When I arrived, it was impossible to find a parking space. Either because it was a Friday night, or the fact that it was during the Fringe and it's impossible to find parking whenever there are festivals in this city! I quickly found a spot on a side street two streets down, and ran over to the restaurant!

Intriguing basket..

Inside the restaurant it felt very homey, with dim lighting and different works of art lining the walls. It was quite busy, with practically all tables occupied but one. In the middle of the table was a basket-looking centre piece, which I excitedly thought was filled with food.. unfortunately, it was only for decorative purposes. I wasn't able to see a menu (if they even had one?), but Iman took care of everything, as she was our resident expert!

We talked, laughed, and reminisced about the summer that had gone by, all the while wondering when our food would arrive at our table. The wait time for our food to arrive at the table was over an hour. AN HOUR. Surprising, right? We were crazy hungry, but this place is notorious for a long wait time. So, if you decide to drop by, make sure you're not about to pass out from hunger when you walk in the door.. if you do, you're in trouble. This restaurant is owned and operated by a small family, mother and two sons, I believe. This is why it takes so long to get the food. The mother is the only person in the kitchen cooking and preparing all the dishes, while the sons take care of patrons and serve all the tables.

When the food was presented on our table, it was served in two plates, with every single dish ordered served together in portions on the massive plate.

Vegetarian Options!

The first dish we had contained our vegetarian options: gomen wot, ater kik aletcha wot, and atekilt aletcha wot. From what I read, the word 'wot' basically implies the dish is like a stew, where the ingredients are mushed together. So, the gomen wot was a mix of collard greens, onions carrots and potatoes. This one had a nice smooth texture to it. It wasn't spicy at all, and was mainly a salty dish. It reminded me of the sukumawiki that I tried at the Heritage Festival. The ater kik aletcha wot on the other hand was a yellow split pea stew. I think this one was my favourite out of them all! It was very flavourful, and I liked the little bits of peas within the mixture. The last dish was atekilt aletcha wot, which was less like a stew because it didn't have a watery consistency. If it were cooked any longer, I'm sure the ingredients would start to fall apart and form a stew! Anyways, this dish was made with potatoes, onions, and carrots simmered in a sauce. In this dish, I liked how the potatoes were cooked through and melted in your mouth. As for the other items on the plate, the middle was occupied by fresh cottage cheese, and I believe the fresh salad on the side was meant to be eaten periodically to cleanse the palate and give it a break.

For the meat lovers

Our second dish contained kitfo and doro tibs. Kitfo is kind of like steak tartare, in that raw, extra lean beef is minced and seasoned with spices and served raw/medium rare. The one we had was cooked well, and served very spicy. It paired very well with the fresh cottage cheese, since the cheese toned down the heat. The doro tibs were boneless cubes of chicken sauteed with broccoli and spices. This one wasn't spicy at all, and a nice contrast to the kitfo.

The food lay on top of bread called injera, which you use to pick up the food and eat together. Now, what I didn't really know about Ethiopian food was that you eat everything with your hands. We didn't even have plates to hold food for us! Each person started with one roll of injera, ripping off little pieces to use to pick up food. The food tasted AMAZING!! I never imagined the food to be so flavourful! I could eat the dishes just by themselves. The only thing I didn't really appreciate was the sourness of the injera. All injera is supposed to be slightly sour, but after eating about half my roll, it was hard for me to ignore the sour taste. Maybe I should just make my own version of injera and bring it with me next time.. haha, just kidding!

Tara, Joy, Phil & Iman

Me, Claire & Jobin

The hour long wait really brought out the savages in us, and we wolfed down all the food in a matter of minutes. I'm sure we were done within ten minutes, with just a couple things left on the plate. Philippe took the courtesy of finishing everything off, throwing large pieces of injera over the food and devouring it. We love our piglet. All in all a fantastic night, I know I'll be back again!


Langano Skies
9920 82 Avenue
Edmonton AB
Langano Skies on Urbanspoon

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