If you’re living in Bangalore and have not tried African cuisine yet, give fellow expat and First Serves Deborah First-Quao’s food a try. We sampled a one-day-only special offer of The Ethiopian Beyanatu (a plate with several dishes and sauces) from Chefs-à-Porter curated Gourmet in a Box, a platform that specializes in Elevated Fine Dining Experiences at home, helmed by the hottest chefs in the city. And given that there are no Ethiopian restaurants in Bangalore, we were excited to get to try First Serves!
WHAT: Ethiopian cuisine
WHO: Deborah First-Quao of First Serves X Chefs-A-Porter
ABOUT CHEFS-A-PORTER: Founded by Architect turned Plant forward Chef Anou Boccasam, Chefs-à-Porter is a platform that champions chefs for conscious dining. A new way of dining, it offers diners a unique chance to experience immersive dining at home. Unique, multi-course degustation menus are the highlight of Chefs-à-Porter’s private dining experiences. They also host supper clubs with guest chefs from around the world.
PRICE: INR 2500 per box, served 2
WHAT WE TASTED
I tried out their non-vegetarian and vegetarian items, and was pleasantly surprised by how close to home the ingredients felt. Whether it was the fermented Injera (a sour fermented pancake-like flatbread with a slightly spongy texture) that reminded me of Bangalore’s Ragi dosa or the vegetarian Key Sir Alicha that felt akin to beets salad, the meal tickled my taste buds.
Although, the curries could feel different if you are accustomed to Indian food, because the spice level was quite low. It wasn’t bland for sure, but if you savour Butter Chicken or the Chicken curry your Indian friends make then the Doro Wat and Alicha Doro might feel a little flat.
But give it a chance, because you can taste each ingredient used in the dish, without the base curry over powering it. Again, it could be something new for your palate but if you’ve tried some Maharashtrian sides or Andhra meals, you might like the flavours of this meal.
And after you complete the meal, there is a refreshing Ice Tea to cleanse your palate. Because I love some sweets after meals, the included Teff crackle was a delight. Not your usual dark chocolate but the taste was so subtle and different from the strong Injera flavour.
The box is packed perfectly and had no spillage when it was delivered (which is rare, thanks to the potholes we call roads in the city!). Not going to lie, seeing my name written so nicely on the box made me smile before I even unpacked the meal.
Here’s everything in the box (see the image for reference):
Injera, made with brown teff, grown in Karnataka
Doro wot (chicken cooked in an onion confit sauce flavoredwith berbere spice (special spice mix) and finished with red wine)
Alicha doro (chicken cooked in an onion confit sauce flavoredwith turmeric and finished with beer)
Gomen (sauteed greens and capsicum with kibbeh)
Shiro wot (stewed chickpea flour)
Key Sir Alicha (beetroot and potato salad with mustard oil, finished with fenugreek)
Miser wot (red lentils stew finished with black cumin)
Ice tea with a hint of cinnamon, not too sweet
VINE PRO TIP: Even though meal is delivered warm and fresh, the curries tasted best piping hot.
Since the lockdowns, Ghanaian/Serbian home chef and fellow Vine community member Deborah has started introducing East and West African dishes to her friends and neighbors. Deborah grew up in Ethiopia with a blended Ethiopian family so sharing the authentic cuisine came natural to her. From planning Ethiopian-themed dinners for a friend, participating in fundraising world food bazaar for Zion Orphanage, to her most recent and sold out box that we just tried, her brand First Serves has been well received!
When asked how others can try First Serves in the future, Deborah says to look out for her future collaborations (or if you would like to collaborate with her on an event for your brand, get in touch with her!)
Deborah also bakes and specializes in pull-apart cupcake cakes which are available to order.
Read more about expat chef in this recent write up here!
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