Address: 54 Mollison St, West End QLD 4101
I have always been curious by cuisines around the world, especially places that I've never been to. It's my belief that a country/region's cuisine tells a lot about the culture and the history of the place.
The fact that the restaurant is a non-profit organization that tries to integrate Eritrea migrants into the Australian society and provide the Australian an opportunity to understand Eritrean culture also seemed like a worthy initiative and further fuelled by curiosity.
When Mu'ooz Eritrean Restaurant opened up in West End and became much more accessible for me, I was dying to try to it out. Hence, on a lovely Thursday evening, a group of friends (around 15 people) decided to go and give the place a try. Mu'ooz is located between the Coles shopping complex and Cafe Meze. It is easily accessible through via the Glider and is only a short walk via the 199 or the 196.
The exterior of the restaurant is open and gives the sense of spaciousness and the simple wooden decor really pushes through the idea of a rural village. It also has a sizeable backyard behind, good for hosting for a large number of people.
On my visit, given that we had a large number of people, we were seated in the backyard, under the stars. Which is quite lovely given the breezy winds at night, however, it also meant that given our close proximity to the restaurant's freezer, every time someone opened the freezer to fetch food, we'd get a gust of cold air.
Entrees were generally pleasant and especially since they can do them gluten free and still make them taste good, it was especially impressive.
The mains are generally a meat or vegetable curry served on a sourdough pancake with a side serving of fresh salad. However, if you are especially unadventurous, they do also offer beef lasagne with chips and steak and chips.
For my main, I went for the chicken zighni, most of my group went either for the lamb, the goat or the soso chicken (Soso is the name of the dish by the way).
The wait for our food was not particularly long, however, when we did receive our food, the results varied greatly. The goat received great reviews, being quite tasty and the meat soft and falling of the bones. The lamb on the other hand was less appreciated as it was quite chewy.
The chicken zighni was quite hot (as described on the menu), however, given that the whole curry had three pieces of chicken and rest being made up of runny curry, the pancake on the bottom was soggy by the end and became difficult to eat.
The soso chicken fared somewhat better, however it has the same problem of the soggy pancake by the end.
In terms of the service, what we experienced on the night had its highs and lows.
Whilst the waitress was very attentive throughout the meal and the lady who ran the restaurant came around in the end and asked if everyone enjoyed the meal and was happy to serve us a small taste of different food if we didn't like our particular dish, the happy experienced was marred when it came to the bills.
The restaurant managed to double charge us with entrees and we were silly to have paid for the bill before realising something was incorrect. After a good 15 minutes of sorting through our order, we went back to the waitress, asking for a refund of the additional $50 that we have been wrongly charged.
That is when they accused us of not having the paid the $50 at all!
Another 5 minutes of fuming, arguing and searching, we realised that the $50 note was on the counter, on top of the menus!
In summary, whilst Mu'ooz is worth a visit once and try out new food, patience and understanding is a must.