tender loving care Ethiopian cuisine
Posted on 09 / 28 / 2008
I first went into this restaurant quite by accident last winter, to get a brief break from the snow, during a wickedly frigid evening when the windchill temperature was close to -30C. As soon as I walked into the restaurant and smelled the cooking, I knew I had found the perfect place to spend an hour or two, until I could face the snow again.
On a night with weather like that, I was the only diner in the restaurant. I was warmly greeted by Zeni - the server, the cook, and the restaurant owner. She was wonderfully hospitable, as if she was welcoming family visits at her home.
I ordered the vegetarian combo, which took about 20 minutes to prepare. I love Ethiopian food, and have been eating at various Ethiopian restaurants around the city for over 20 years...since the first Ethiopian restaurant opened on Bloor West near Lansdowne. After having eaten at so many Ethiopian restaurants over the years, I would have to say that the food at M&B Yummy is probably the best that I've had in all of Toronto's Ethiopian restaurants.
What makes the food so special here, is that I could sense, and taste, the care that had gone into preparing the food. It's that indescribable quality that reminded me of eating my grandmother's cooking - food that has been prepared with affections and with tender loving care. It was food that made me smile, even on a harsh winter night, and the satisfying food and warm hospitality have brought me back for many repeat visits over the past months (even after the menu prices have gone up).
What's more, there are some menu items at Y&B Yummy that are not often found in other Ethiopian restaurants, such as butucha and pumpkin stew - both have since become my personal favourites, along with the cabbage soup and the lentil soup. They are like comfort food with an Ethiopian twist.
Being a vegan, it's not always easy to find tasty and inexpensive food when dining out. The food at this restaurant is both affordable and excellent, and the warm hospitality makes the dining experience even more satisfying. My only complaint is the restaurant's location...it does take time to get to the restaurant's Queen West location, but I would say that the food and the overall dining experience are well worth the trek.
good value, friendly owner, excellent food