Neighbourhood: West End
Address: 533 Sargent Ave
The mural on the outside of Gohe restaurant – one of the West End’s many al fresco artworks – declares Ethiopia the land of “13 months of sunshine”. Inside, when served with a table-spanning platter of stews and curries, it is easy to agree. Vibrant, acidic, tangy, and hot, the Ethiopian specialties at Gohe provide surpassingly sunny flavour.
The sparse dining room gains the cozy vibe of a neighbourhood haunt in the evening, when the space fills with a diverse cross-section of diners gathering to chatter while scooping saucy entrées into torn-off shreds of injera. This spongy sourdough bread traditionally acts as both cutlery and plate, sopping up the main dishes’ flavourful oils and juices.
Clarified, spice-infused butter and chile-laced berberé are the basis for stews like doro wat, a rich, long-simmered dish packed with morsels of tender chicken and topped with a hard boiled egg. Tibs, tender cubes of meat sautéed with vegetables, hot peppers, and spices are available with lamb, chicken, or beef. The fiery mix gets an acidic hit from bits of tomato peppered throughout, while a hint of rosemary lingers, adding an herbal, fragrant note. A crisp salad slick with vinaigrette arrives with the dish, a refreshing complement.
Vegetarians are spoiled for choice as well. Spice-laden shiro wat, made from ground chickpeas, and kik alicha, a vibrant yellow split pea stew, are filling and flavourful highlights.
Finish the meal with a diminuative but powerful cup of coffee. For those looking to put a little hair on their chest, the dark, rich brew is the perfect jolt to follow an African feast.
Gohe is open Tue-Sun 1 pm-9:30 pm, closed Monday.