Restaurant Review – Saba’s African Cuisine

23 Jul

Saba’s African Cuisine –  901A – 22nd Street West, Saskatoon, SK  –  306-933-4447  –  Hours (Tuesday to Sunday — 4:30pm to 10:30pm)

My girlfriend and I have heard so much about Saba’s from our good friends Doug and Darla. In fact, I think it’s their favorite restaurant. We have wanted to go for a long time but it has never worked out that we could go. So last night we were able to check it out!

The space was quaint and simple… nothing fancy and pretentious here folks. The restaurant was clean and full of light, and the washrooms were sanitary and didn’t smell foul (which is rare for most places here). The walls were adorned with traditional pieces and knickknacks from their home country. There was no indication on the menu what country they were from, but from some research into the dishes and sauces, it is most likely Ethiopia.

The first thing that really struck me when entering Saba’s was the smell. IT WAS AWESOME! I could smell warming spices and MEAT! My mouth began to water profusely. I was excited for what was to come.

Since we were not familiar with the menu our friends ordered for us. They ordered the meat combination (they also have an extensive selection of vegetarian dishes), which excited me. The food took quite a while to come out, but that is to be expected for homemade dishes I think. The wait was well worth it!

Injera roll for eating

The first thing to come out was the Injera. Injera is a very yeasty sourdough flat bread with the texture and appearance of a crepe. By itself, the taste was not my cup of tea, but was assured that it would taste great with the food. The whole point of the Injera was to use it as the utensil. This was cool because I’ve never eaten like this before. The food came out soon after the Injera. It looked simple and smelt really good. I could smell chiles, allspice, and coriander. All selections were on top of a large round of Injera. All items on the platter tasted really good. The flavours were balanced and not that spicy hot. The only item that was somewhat hot was the chicken and egg in the middle of the plate. The platter included:

Meat Combination

Sega Tibsi / Kulwa (Mild): Tender cubed beef sautéed with onions, rosemary, tomato and jalapeno, served with salad (or Alcha or Rice) and spicy awaze sauce on the side.
Tsebhi Sega (Meat) (Medium): Tender cubed beef seasoned with fresh onions, garlic and ginger, sauced with butter and berbere sauce.
Tsebhi Derho (Chicken) (Hot): Tender chicken sautéed in butter and seasoned with garlic and soaked in berbere (hot red powder pepper) served with boiled eggs.
Alcha: Mixed vegetables, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, cumin, tumeric and some spices.
Alcha Birsen: Yellow split peas cooked in specially flavored mild sauce.

The hot sauce we asked for. Completely homemade and very unique.

The service was good but minimal. We were given a jug of water at the table at the beginning. Our friends ordered a beer at the start, but they were not asked if they wanted another one. What really impressed me was when Saba (Chef and owner) came out and asked us what we liked best and that she would bring us out more if we were not full. Now that is how you treat guests!!! We didn’t take advantage of her generosity, but did order two small sides of the cabbage and spicy beef.

All in all, Saba’s is a great little hidden gem. I look forward to going again and trying some other items off the menu. I urge you to try this great restaurant. Please be prepared to wait for your food, but don’t let that turn you off.

Please visit Saba's African Cuisine on Urbanspoon for more reviews.


2 Responses to “Restaurant Review – Saba’s African Cuisine”

  1. Darla July 23, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    Sooooooo good.

  2. 306flavourcountry July 23, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    Sure is!

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