Wednesday, 9 October 2013

the cutting table, collingwood

Simon and I usually pay for our own portion of meals when we dine out, but every now and then we  treat each other. On this occasion he paid for our lunch at The Cutting Table (126 Smith St, Collingwood), a little African cafe with generously sized mains for reasonable prices. (Yeah, I could totally have chosen a more expensive place to try - he got off the hook!)

We're partial to seeking out the chai at different places, and we liked the sound of the home brewed African chai. However, it was a touch too milky, and not strong enough on the spices.

Home brewed African chai ($4).

We were also intrigued by the Green for Life smoothie - there's probably not much that's African about it, but it was an interesting combination of avocado, celery, ginger, honey, cinnamon and milk... thick, creamy, and goes down with a pleasantly cool tingle.

Green for Life smoothie ($5.50).

I noticed a stack of petite African doughnuts at the counter when we were ordering, so obviously I had to try one. I like how they warmed it up for me before serving, with a dash of powdered sugar and trickle of honey. The doughnut had almost a muffin-like texture and was fairly decent.

Zlabia - African doughnut ($1).

It wasn't long before we received our mains. This is the Ugali chicken stack - free-range chicken fillet marinated in spicy lovers sauce (a tomato-based sauce with African berebere spice mix) and served on Ugali (grilled polenta in West African style) with salad, pita chips and tahini-yoghurt dip. The sides are alright, but the subtly sweet, saucy and succulent chicken and the firm, savoury polenta were definitely the stars of this show.

Ugali chicken stack ($12).

We also chose the African plate - special African dish of the day, served in the traditional way with injera bread, rice and salad. They had beef, chicken or vegetarian options available for this dish, and we went with beef. It came out like a thick stew, lots of flavour, but also very salty. Thankfully, the rice and the slim, soft, spongy, sour injera balanced it out somewhat.

African plate ($13.50).

Despite some fault-finding, I like The Cutting Table. The food was mostly tasty and left us full and satisfied without breaking the bank. Their menu includes vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. We had a meaty experience this time around, but I hope to return again for the vegetarian dishes, which sounded excellent - I suspect I'll have trouble deciding between the ancient Egyptian burger, the Moroccan chickpea and vegetable patty, the hot chilli lentil wrap, the ingera roll and the spicy tofu salad!

The Cutting Table also forms part of The Social Studio, a community enterprise that not only celebrates multiculturalism and ethical choices but also provides social support and education programs. Besides, you can browse and buy some really beautiful limited edition pieces designed and created on-site in their fashion shop just next door. They do good work, and I look forward to giving them continued support with future visits.


The Cutting Table on Urbanspoon

6 comments:

  1. Never heard of this place, but I'm keen to try. Looks great :)

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    Replies
    1. It seems to be quite little-known! But it's worth knowing. :)

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  2. Cool place that Social Studio! and the restaurant is worth a visit!
    I'm not very familiar with African cuisine but that ugali chicken stack looks delicious ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, that Ugali chicken stack was rather delicious! :D

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  3. Looks delicious! That vegetarian selection sounds stunning, I can understand why you might have trouble deciding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I must go back to try their vegetarian dishes!

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