Lunch #15: Tibs from Timbuktu with The Great Dane, The Yummy Mummy and The Woman With No Face

This is actually two lunches, which both took place a while ago, but I’m writing about them today because otherwise I would have to spend my entire lunchbreak following the #JessicaLeandra thread on Twitter. Her magnificent demonstration of How To End Your Career With Just One Tweet (she made it two, just to be very sure) was most edifying. In fact, I guarantee you can learn more from her than from me today. But if you’d prefer to waste your time less productively, read on.

Just before this year’s opening of Parliament, the NSYP, who I won’t bother mentioning again on this blog, asked me to meet him at the Pan African Market to help him choose a suitably smart West African shirt for the occasion. The NSYP has no more relation to West Africa than a cocktail sausage, but wearing West African shirts is his way of avoiding wearing a tie when it would otherwise be absolutely necessary. (He can’t wear Mandela shirts, since he’s in the wrong party. Shirts are very political.)

The Pan-African Market is far enough down Long Street to remind me why it’s called Long Street. My reward for walking so far was lunch at the restaurant on the balcony. It’s called Timbuktu, but serves Ethiopian food. I know it’s Ethiopian – and not Malian as the name suggests – because Ethiopian menus are very distinctive. They are a source of great delight to me and no other people in the world could imitate them. I ordered the Tibs – ‘Tender tip pieces of marinated’. I have always wanted to try marinated.

Gored Gored was also tempting

Unfortunately, I only had time to swallow a couple of mouthfuls of my tender tip pieces before running all the way back up Long Street to disarm my desk (which I have been led to believe will explode if I am not at it at precisely 2pm). So a couple of weeks later, following a sequence of events too impossibly complex to describe, The Great Dane chauffeured The Yummy Mummy, The Woman With No Face and me back to Timbuktu so that I could finish my Tibs and lecture them all on The Art Of Ethiopian Menu-Writing.

Here is why you too should go to Timbuktu:

1. The menus

If, like The Woman With No Face, you lack physiognomy, you can use the menu instead.

2. The decor

This rather amusing little fellow watches you wash your hands.

3. The food

I can recommend the Tibs (bottom right), which taste authentically Ethiopian (even if the rocket, feta and cherry tomatoes on top of them don’t). Such a pity we can’t get teff here, as I do prefer my injera to be the right shade of putty grey…

Amaseghinalehu!

(That’s ‘thank you’ in Amharic. It’s the only word I know.)

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2 comments

  1. alisonwestwood · May 4, 2012

    Someone called @MarediM on Twitter reminded me about the prices at Timbuktu, which are very reasonable. The Tibs didn’t break my R40 lunch-with-other-people limit.

  2. Susan Hayden · May 5, 2012

    Chuckled throughout – it’s lovely! 🙂

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