Delanta restaurant

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60 rue de Haute Seille, Metz, France

Delanta restaurant Metz Reviews

planxty planxty
176 reviews
What a brilliant random find. Apr 24, 2017
I had arrived in Metz on a Monday evening and, after sorting out my bed for the night, I thought I'd have a look round and obviously a few beers. Fat chance! Metz literally closes on a Monday and I was struggling so in desperation I was heading for the station as I knew there would be a bar open there albeit that I don't like such places. Purely by chance I spied a light on in a restaurant and thought I'd chance it so in I went.

I had missed the slightly discreet little sign outside and so I was a little taken aback to walk into what was obviously an Ethiopian establishment with fairly minimalist furniture, a small bar with a few bar stools and the walls absolutely covered in Ethiopian bits and pieces. No problem, I had been in Ethiopian establishments before and although I had no intention of dining I asked the lady behind the bar if it was OK just to have a drink and that was similarly no problem. The beer selection was limited although they did have proper imported Ethiopian beer, which I like, but at €7 a bottle it was a little expensive for an evening's imbibing and so I opted for a Heineken (not my favourite international brand but needs must) at a much more respectable €3.

Sitting on the comfy bar stool I began talking to the lady in French as she had a bare minimum of English but we got on all right. We had plenty of opportunity for conversation as the place was completely empty so it appears Monday really is a closed day in Metz. She had a bit of Ethiopian music on the sound system which added to the atmosphere and when she offered to change it for European music I declined as I do like world music. Yes, it was born partially out of necessity as I didn't want to go hunting for another bar but I really did rather enjoy the company and the chat which went hither and yon but kept returning to cooking, specifically her own cuisine. It ended up several beers later when she had kept the bar open longer than she normally would although I did not know that at the time or I would have gone. We agreed that I would return the next evening and I would have a meal there and I went off into the night having made another great find.

Fast forward now to the next evening and I did indeed return as promised after a day that had mostly been taken up doing laundry but with a few beers as well and I arrived with a reasonable appetite as I had barely eaten for a couple of days. Again, the restaurant was completely empty although my new friend's son did appear later on. I was given the menu which is not overly extensive (French only) but I had another plan and I asked if it would be possible for her to prepare me something, whether on the menu or not, that she would eat at home. I suppose that could have gone horribly wrong and I would have been served a pizza but she got the idea! She actually looked delighted to be given the opportunity and took off to the kitchen where I could hear plenty of prepping going on so I knew it was all going to be done from scratch.

On one of her excursions back to the bar to replenish my beer she insisted that I had to have a Picon beer as an aperitif. A Picon? What kind of beer is that? I naturally agreed and was a little surprised at what she prepared. I had been drinking my beer from the bottle as I tend to do but she insisted on pouring this one. I was really intrigued now as the concept of beer as an aperitif was totally alien to me. The bottle you can see in one of the images was produced and a shot of it put in the beer. A quick sniff definitely indicated oranges which is not so surprising as some of the beers in the Low Countries are served with an orange as garnish and subsequent research has taught me that it is a liquer made of bitter orange with a few aromatics for good measure (pun absolutely intended). The result was unusual but very tasty.

I had no idea what I was going to be served but I had told her that spicy was OK and to make it exactly as it should be. I had mentioned this as the menu offers the option of how spicy you like your food, presumably to cater for less adventurous palates. Naturally, this took a little while but I was settled for the evening and a few beers and a semi-shouted conversation between bar and kitchen passed the time very pleasantly. Eventually, dinner was served and what a dinner.

I mentioned that I had eaten Ethiopian / Eritrean food before so I know what the drill was going to be. Small portions of the curry / curries and all the veg and accompaniments are placed on a sourdough flatbread called an injera. This is properly made from a specific kind of flour called teff which, for various reasons mostly EU bureaucracy, is apparently difficult to obtain in the EU so substitites are often used. The injera is effectively an edible plate although others are always served as well. In my case I don't know how many she thought she was feeding as she produced a large basket full. Although cutlery is provided here for Europeans the trick is to tear off the bread and eat with your hand, much like the chapati in Southern Asian cuisine. Here is a tip if the reader has never tried this before and that is not to totally gorge yourself on the breads which were warm and delicious here and so it was difficult to refrain from eating the lot. Save just a bit of room for the "plate" injera which will have soaked up all the flavours from the meal and is easily the best part of the meal.

Despite the lady very helpfully describing to me in detail exactly what the meal was I am completely stumped if I can remember it all now so I shall let the the image do the talking. I remember that it was quite spicy as I had requested but not lunatically so and was spice rather than merely heat which is as it should be. What I can say with absolute certainty is that it was utterly gorgeous and I did even manage to put a fair hole in the injera basket although it defeated me in the end.

By this time I was completely full and therefore declined when the charming woman offered me dessert and she equally politely asked me would I be staying for a while which threw me a bit. I can understand being thrown out of a crowded retaurant so they can turn the cover around but I was the sole patron. When I said jokingly I would be there until she threw me out she gave me another of her utterly enchanting smiles and vanished into the kitchen again. I had a half an idea what might happen next and it duly did. Some time and several beers later, when my fine meal had settled a bit the gorgeous tarte you can see pictured was produced and I was encouraged to get into it. I don't usually eat dessert and this was extremely rich but it was very, very good and I managed a good sized piece.

When it came time to go eventually I checked the bill and it really was not too scary at all. Even though I had ordered off menu she had charged me about a median price from the mains on the menu and had not even charged me for the specially baked dessert. I queried this and she said it was a gift. How lovely.

I regretfully left and on my slow wander home I considered yet again the "Travel Gods" as I refer to them. On the off chance of finding a beer I had discovered a superb little restaurant serving authentic tasty Ethiopian food, a new aperitif, made a new friend and learned so much about Ethiopian culture specifically cuisine as well as practicing my slowly improving French. Not a bad return.

I can only recommend the Delanta restaurant very highly.
Traditional Ethiopian meal.
A new one on me.
This is injera.
A lovely gift.
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