CONTRIBUTED BY SARAH FORTE
I love traveling and exploring new places! Sometimes the travel bug bites at the wrong time and you can’t get away. Have you ever tried curing the bug with food? Maybe you’ve always wanted to go to Africa. Don’t have time for your safari right now? If you’re in the Kaiserslautern area you might not have time for a safari, but I bet you have time to try Safari.
Safari is the new east African restaurant in K-town, featuring food from Ethiopia and Eretria. It opened in early 2014 and I hope it has a long future in downtown Kaiserslautern.
We visited on a Tuesday evening, very early in their dinner shift. The restaurant was quiet while we were there, but was starting to pick up as the evening went on. The service was very friendly and happy to explain any food, drink or even cultural questions. The menus were in German and English and our server spoke either as well.
What is east African food like? Let’s start with the basics. The base of the meal is injera, a flat bread kind of similar to a pancake. It’s made with bubbly dough that takes days to cure. It is used to line the platter of food and then used as your only utensil. Yep, you use it to scoop up your meal and then eat the whole tasty portion.
Safari has plates for two, three, four and more. They also have individual portions and à la carte options. We ordered a plate for three called the Asmara platter. The bottom of the platter was covered with layers of injera and there was a separate plate of rolled injera on the side. Layered on top were generous portions of tibsi begie (described as lamb cubes fried in purified ghee butter with onions, rosemary, and chili), zighni (a spicy hot beef stew slowly cooked to blend with the rich combination of spices and chili), and derho tsebhi (chicken stew slowly cooked in a rich flavor of herbs spices and chili). Besides these items listed on the menu for the three-person platter, there was also a chicken leg for each of us, and tastes of other types of Ethiopian or Eritrean specialties.
The server was happy to explain anything on the menu and asked if we needed directions for how to eat using the injera as our utensil. After a quick explanation we dove in. We came out on the other side with slightly messy fingers, very full tummies and smiles on our faces. The food was very flavorful and well seasoned. We managed to eat almost all of it, with just a bit of injera left over. The platter for three was 27.00€.
There is a vegetarian portion of the menu with 8 dishes featuring lentils, vegetables and a dish made with ground chickpeas, like a warm hummus. (There are small pictures of the menu at the bottom of this article. Click on each for a full-sized view.)
Besides East African food, we also tried the beer! Dju Dju brand beer is offered in four flavors: mango, banana, passion fruit and palm lager. You know how in Germany each beer is served in it’s own special glass with the brand printed on it? Dju Dju beer comes served in a calabash bowl! This brand of beer is brewed in Europe based on African flavors, culture and a story of dju dju voodoo. If you’re not in the mood for Dju Dju, there is a full menu of all types of other drinks too.
We enjoyed this new restaurant in K-town. The service was great, the ambiance felt far away from Germany, and the food was excellent and well-priced. If you’d like to slip away on a safari for an evening, I’d recommend Safari East-African Restaurant.
Tips For Your Trip:
Humbold Strasse 31
Street-side parking is very limited. We parked at the City Parking Garage, a few blocks away.
Tuesday – Thursday: 1700 – 2300
Friday – Sunday: 1600 – 2400
(These were the current hours when we visited. They had recently changed. Call ahead to be sure.)
Menu pictures below. To see in full-size, click on each.