To write this review or not to write, this has been my question since we visited Sheger last weekend. Recommended by Le Fooding, our restaurant bible to Paris, we chose to eat here on a warm summer evening. It had been a long time since we last had Ethiopian food (in fact In New York two years ago!), so biting into injera was long overdue!
Sheger is located in a tiny street and has some tables outside. Lovely. We were served by a friendly Ethiopian man who took time to explain the menu. We followed his recommendations, choosing Menu Sheger (starter, main course, dessert) and Yebeug Tebses (grilled lamb).
For starters we shared Azifa, puree made of lentils, shallot, garlic and ginger (it was part of the menu) and were very pleased with it. Subtle, harmonious, delicious taste.For the mains, the menu included Yefeseg Beyonetou, a mixed injera plate with five sauces, and in addition we had ordered Yebeug Tebses, a house specialty of grilled lamb with rosemary.
Unfortunately, the mixed plate was probably the smallest Ethiopian plate we have ever been served, and this was a pity. When we asked for more sauce, we got a response “I don’t think it will be possible” but a few minuets later we did have more sauce (and were not charged for it).
All five sauces tasted really good but we could not help but to think why the portions were so minuscule. Actually when I checked the Sheger reviews on Internet, I could see that this is one of the main criticism of Sheger. The grilled lamb was heavy on rosemary and tasted lovely, but as my husband said, we could have been eating that kind of lamb in Greece or elsewhere. Based on what I know about Ethiopian food, I could say that these lamb pieces were not particularly Ethiopian.
Disappointing mains were compensated by a fantastic Ethopian Baklava dessert made of honey and peanuts, but would we go back to Sheger just for the dessert –no. Not unless they double the portions. After all we paid almost 70€ for this meal including a bottle of St George beer and a bottle of rosé from the Loire Valley.
Restaurant Sheger: 2 passage du Jeu-de-Boules, 75011 Paris. Tel: 01-43380504. Metro: République, Filles du Calvaire, Oberkampf
Le Fooding review: http://lefooding.com/en/restaurants/restaurant-sheger-paris
Note: There are only about ten Ethiopian restaurants in Paris, which is not a lot! I will try to pay a visit to another Ethiopian restaurant soon, as I really love the food. I will always remember the first Ethiopian food I had in Tanzania, and Ethiopia is on my travel list…