Remember how it was my husband's birthday last week on Tuesday? And remember how he didn't want to dine out on his birthday?
Well, last Friday we went to an Ethiopian restaurant for dinner. Both my husband and I are HUGE fans of Ethiopian food, and if you haven't tried it , I urge you to YELP one in your area, soon. Since there are limited options for Ethiopian cuisine in Manhattan, I selected a place purely based on the number of reviews. And now here is the review for Queen of Sheba.
650 10th Ave.
New York, NY 10036
(Midtown West – Hell’s Kitchen)
MENU: Queen of Sheba Menu.
RECOMMENDED TO: Casual Dining, Couples, Groups, Kid Friendly.
I believe the overall ambience at Queen of Sheba could have been a little better. They could have done more with the décor to hide some of the imperfections. So if you dine here, it totally has to be about the food.
In terms of dining, you have the option of dining either modern style or traditional style. If you choose traditional style dining, you will have to share your meal. Of course, we both opted for traditional style (recommended) dining to try something different, too.
When dining at Queen of Sheba, it is more common to order wine, but we both were in the mood for drinks. My husband ordered a Classic Margarita, it was alright.
I went for a Mango Martini which was okay. It wasn’t smooth. Again, keep in mind this place is not known for cocktails.
We each ordered an entree and together they came with 3 sides since we were sharing. If we weren’t sharing, each of our entrees would have come with 2 sides, totaling 4 sides instead. The food was more than enough for both my husband and I.
The Doro Wat is probably the most famous dish at any Ethiopian restaurant. Two legs of chicken are slow-cooked in a thick rich brown spicy gravy served with a boiled egg sliced in half. This dish was awesome with a ton of oil and flavor, mainly Berbere, a spice chili blend consisting of a variety of spices. I highly recommend this dish.
We also ordered the Doro Tibs which is diced up chicken breast sautéed with onions, jalapeno, olive oil, and some Chardonnay. This dish was also really good, but not as good as the Doro Wat. In addition, the Doro Tibs is a much healthier option than the Doro Wat. It is like comparing apples and oranges, just try both, they are both very good.
For our 3 sides we chose (circled in the image below) -
Misir Wot – split lentils cooked with onion, garlic, and a blend of Ethiopian spices. This was really good.
Shimbra Asa – chickpea flour sauteed and cooked in Berbere sauce. This was really good too, but it tasted like the Doro Wot – I recommend ordering something else instead.
Butecha – chickpeas pan crusted in olive oil, shallots, and jalapenos. I didn’t care for this side, it was a bit bland and boring for my palette.
All Ethiopian food is served with Injera, Ethiopian bread, which is their main source of carbohydrates made with teff. Injera almost tastes like a really soft sourdough bread. I really liked it since it is extremely light and perfectly compliments the heavy entrees.
VERDICT: 3 / 5
And now time for my verdict. So if I knew nothing about Ethiopian food, I would have given this place a higher rating. The food alone at Queen of Sheba is good, but I have dined at better Ethiopian restaurants and so I can’t say this place is amazing. In addition, I wish they worked on improving the décor and ambience at this restaurant because they really have so much to offer in terms of food. Sometimes I wish I could offer advice even when I’m not being asked, simply because I can see so much potential in this cute little gem. Lastly, being that this restaurant is located in New York City, I really think they need a cocktail menu because most people (me) enjoy a cocktail with dinner, not just wine. Overall, due to the limited Ethiopian food choices in Manhattan, Queen of Sheba is easily one of your best options to consider.
And If you are curious to know where I ate the most fabulous Ethiopian food, then head over to Makedas located in downtown New Brunswick, NJ, very close to Rutgers University. It is amazing with spectacular food, amazing drinks, modern, yet traditional décor, and awesome entertainment (dancing and all).
One tip: if you love Indian food, then you will most likely enjoy Ethiopian food. Both cuisines force you to eat with your hands.
Decor: Below Average
TELL ME: Have you ever tried Ethiopian food? If so, what’s your favorite dish to order? Favorite Ethiopian restaurant?