Dinknesh (Lucy)

227 Barkly St
Footscray, VIC 3011
03 9687 8644

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Speaking of my continual quest with going “back to basics”, I realise there’s this immediacy and “nowness” about pictures taken with the iPhone that can be quite nice. It takes me back to my really old posts in 2010 (Quan 88, Seven:am) where everything felt new and exciting. But it wasn’t long after that I decided I needed to start using my dSLR in order to be ‘good’ at blogging. In retrospect, that idea in itself is both true, and also false. Hence my going ‘back to basics’ now.

I have stopped bringing my big camera out to all my meals and have been balancing out my food blogging jaunts with just pure-enjoyment-with-friends jaunts. I’m liking it this way, although I still do squirm inside whenever I am somewhere really beautiful or am served exquisite looking (and tasting) food and realise I do not have the means at hand to capture what’s in front of me professionally. But life needs balance, and I am slowly learning to let go…

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It has been a year since I’ve caught up with my friend Shing. But our catch-up dinner at Dinknesh Lucy in Footscray was just so pleasant that I wanted to share the experience at earliest convenience, even though all I caught of it were a couple of iPhone snaps. And screw all those fancy ‘top 10’ places that I have yet to speak about, they can wait. What I think made the entire meal so pleasurable was not just good and affordable food, but also the company I had, and the incredibly warm, maternal, and jovial lady who served us. I wish I caught her name… she helped us choose our dishes and she kept coming by to see how we were doing with our meal, and she just went about serving all of us customers with a big and beautiful smile. I could see that she loved what she was doing, giving comfort Ethiopian fare in this humble restaurant. It truly warmed my heart.

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Gored Gored $12
Tender cooked pieces of beef seasoned with specially spiced butter with cardammon and hot chilli pepper (served raw or lightly cooked)
Lucy Combination $15
A sample of Doro Wot, Yebeg Wot, Yebeg Alicha (red), Bozena Shiro, Miser Wot, Cabbage, Atikilte Wot and Cottage Cheese served with special Ethiopian tomato salad

We thought of going adventurous with something spicy and got the Gored Gored (pictured left). The lady kept mentioning that it will come out lightly cooked but we said “yep sure”. Turns out the beef was literally just cooked for a few seconds cos it came out really quite raw inside. The spice and sauces were quite delicious to eat, and I had no problems with how uncooked the beef was. But Shing did struggle with the rawness and she let me have the lion’s share..

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We also actually wanted to order TWO serves of the Lucy Combination (pictured right) but the friendly lady laughed and said that would be quite big. We soon found out that that single $15 platter would actually have been practically enough food for the two of us, since it was so rich and laden and it also came with injeras. The Gored Gored wasn’t even necessary. That was unthinkable, cos that would’ve meant that the whole meal would cost us $7.50 each!

Okay, I’ll now confess that for this meal,I basically had NO idea what I was eating. All the dish names, curries and spices were pretty unfamiliar to me and I did not really refer to the menu when the platter arrived to see what’s what. Haha, you could say that I’m going ‘back to basics’ by being less pedantic and detailed about cross referencing and chronicling everything. But let’s just say that I liked the Lucy Combination! It was certainly different, tasty and fascinating. Peel a piece of injera, and dip it in whatever curry you fancy! Shing says it’s the best Ethiopian food she’s had so far.

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I think I enjoyed this meal with Shing because somehow, I opened up more quickly with her than I normally would with other people. I think it’s a quality about her that makes people do that when they’re with her. We first met in 1998, and I still remember during a Chemistry  lab session, Shing handed me an orange Gerbera because I told her previously I’ve never been gifted a flower before. I also remember how she’d be comfortable with long 30-second silences over the phone while I’d be panicking, thinking “OMG why aren’t we talking???”

Fast forward 14 years and we’re now catching up as adults, in our 30’s, over dinner in an Ethiopian restaurant in Footscray.  During some parts of this meal, I once again felt as if I was that shy, unsure and gawkish boy from 1998. In many ways, we have grown, matured, and have settled into our own skins. But in other ways, I also believe that the little child that’s inside each of us will never go away. And that’s a good thing. :)

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