The Tree Alliance is a bunch of restaurants across Southeast Asia and now East Africa offering training opportunities for disadvantaged youth, because Addis and 'disadvantaged' go together like, well tef and cake. Bahir Daf has been on my bucket list of places to go for absolutely ages but I didn't hold out much hope. Especially when Vaseline (yes really) the taxi driver popped up again. Yesterday in the midst of a tropical monsoon he insisted the restaurant I was aiming for 'Kategna' was in fact 'Cottage' and dropped me off outside a derelict bar whereupon I fell straight into a storm drain trapping my foot.
This time around Vaseline insisted on an guided tour of various embassies.
We stopped outside the Indian one so he could ask for directions.
Eventually we cruised past an enormous sign reading 'Bahir Zaf'
"Woraj Alle Vas!" (Stop here please)
Deep in a monologue, I think about the Yemeni embassy and it's diplomatic relationship with the Ethiopian Government, Vaseline ploughed on through some potholes and out the other end of the street.
"Back there Vas"
"Bahir Zaf. My restaurant. Back there. We've passed it"
"Are you sure?"
We reversed towards the sign at high speed, just missing someone's donkey.
Vaseline looked doubtful.
I cheered him up by contracting him for my ridiculously early trip to the bus stop tomorrow and mentally promised to one day buy him a Satnav or at least a copy of the A to Z Addis Ababa.
Ultimately, despite the intriguing menu and unusually good service by Ethiopian standards, the food was nothing special. They didn't have the 'Forgotten Ethiopian Tea' I'd been looking forward to while the Eucalyptus Baked Goat and Apricot Kofta with Tabbouleh Berbere Yoghurt was a touch too ambitious and came with the unusual addition of a fly.
That cake though.....
Whoever made that strawberry tef cake needs a plane ticket to Europe.
I'll buy your ticket! I'll fight the Tories who no doubt wouldn't be keen on letting you in!
Just come and be my personal pastry chef!