Seattle's Finest ETHIOPIAN Cuisine & Lounge

About Abay

Stretching over 4,000 miles long; the Nile River is the longest river in the world. It is also major north flowing river in northeastern Africa. Two major river feeds into the Nile River: the Blue Nile and the White Nile - named for the color of their waters. The White Nile begins at Lake Victoria in Uganda and the Blue Nile begins at Lake Tana in Ethiopia. The two branches of the Nile merge at Khartoum, which is the capital of the Sudan. From this confluence, the Nile continues to flow northward into Egypt and on to the Mediterranean Sea. Amharic is the official language of Ethiopia. "Abay" is the Amharic name for the Blue Nile. The Blue Nile contributes more than 70% of the flow of the Nile. Just as the Blue Nile is a main source of nourishment for the Nile River, we are a major source of Ethiopian cuisine for the Greater Seattle area.

Ethiopia is the oldest country in Africa making it roughly 2,000 years old. It is one of the oldest nations in the world. Like many other African nations, Ethiopia is home to multiple ethnic groups, languages and religions. It is the third most populous country in Africa with a population of roughly 68 million. Ethiopians speak 83 different languages and 200 dialects, with Amharic being the official language. Christianity and Islam are the predominant religions, while Judaism and traditional beliefs are also practiced. Many believe that the first king of Ethiopia, Menelik I, was the son of King Solomon of Israel and the Queen of Sheba. Ethiopia is the only African country which maintained freedom from colonial rule, one exception being the brief Italian occupation of 1936-1941; hence the Islamic and Christianity influence. In 1974, anthropologists discovered "Lucy", a 3.8 million year old complete human skeleton, in Ethiopia's Rift Valley. The term "coffee" derives from the Kaffa region in Ethiopia, where the berries were first discovered blossoming. The name "Kafa" is inherited from the hieroglyphic nouns "Ka" and "Afa". Ka means "God" while Afa means "land". Thus, the word coffee means "the land or plant of God". Ethiopian believes that coffee was transplanted from the Ethiopian highlands to the Yemeni mountains during the spice trade between East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. From Yemen, coffee spread to Southeast Asia, South America, and finally back to Africa. The different physical features of the land, resulting in temperature variations, allow Ethiopians to grow various types of plants, while the diversity of the people and the rich culture contribute to the uniqueness of Ethiopian cuisine. Ethiopian flatbread (injera) is the main staple of the Ethiopian diet. Injera is primarily made from a high-protein grain called "tef". Tef grains are extremely small. In fact, it takes 150 to equal the weight of a single grain of wheat. Tef's name allegedly comes from the Amharic word "teffa", which means lost. Tef is considered to have an excellent amino acid composition. In addition, its calcium content is unequaled. One cup of cooked tef contains more calcium (387 mg) than a cup of milk. Injera is the major source of nutrition for over two thirds of Ethiopians. Injera is quite filling and has strong expansionist tendencies. Like the injera, guest leave our restaurant feeling satisfied after dining here with us.

Our Culture & Our Food