Food Reviews

Review: Walia Ethiopian Restaurant

Walia Ethnic Ethiopian Restaurant - 124 Street - Edmonton

124 Street has quickly become one of my favourite spots to dine – with some amazing restaurants lining the popular strip.

The newest Ethiopian restaurant to open on 124 Street is no exception.

This week I joined some of my lovely work friends for lunch at the new Walia Ethnic Ethiopian Restaurant (located at 10630 124 Street).

Walia Ethnic Ethiopian Restaurant - 124 Street - Edmonton
Walia Ethiopian Restaurant at 10630 124 Street.

Walia has only been open for two months, and my friend Alyssa (who is obsessed with Ethiopian food!) was actually the one to spot it + suggest it as a lunch spot.

I have only ever had Ethiopian food one other time – at Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant on 95 Street – and really enjoyed it.

I was hoping to have a similar experience at Walia and sure enough – it was fantastic!

Walia Ethnic Ethiopian Restaurant - 124 Street - Edmonton
Inside Walia Ethiopian Restaurant on 124 Street.

Walia is a clean, cute, and small space.

It used to be the Scottish Imports store before undergoing an Ethiopian make-over.

There’s a mix of bright colours inside Walia – bright greens and reds, plus wicker chairs and sort of like a tiki hut kind of feel above some of the booths/tables.

Walia Ethnic Ethiopian Restaurant - 124 Street - Edmonton
Walia is named after the Walia Ibex (mountain goat) native to Ethiopia.

Walia is named after the Walia Ibex, an endangered species / members of the goat family. The Walia Ibex is also known as the Abyssinian Ibex, native to / only found in the northern mountains of Ethiopia (that information brought to you partially by the friendly owner of Walia, but also Wikipedia).

Walia’s owner is also its sole chef. He’s a super friendly man who used to work as chef at the old Habesha Ethiopian Restaurant on 118th Avenue, which is now permanently closed.

Alyssa – being the Ethiopian food lover she is – was thrilled to hear Walia’s chef was the same as Habesha as it had been her favourite Ethiopian restaurant until it shut down.

Walia Ethnic Ethiopian Restaurant - 124 Street - Edmonton
Our meal at Walia comes in a traditional Ethiopian mesob – a colourful, woven round wicker basket.

The menu at Walia (or most Ethiopian restaurants) consists of selections of various, spicy meats and vegetables. We asked the owner to pick what he’d like our group to try and he recommended a combination of Ethiopian vegetables, lamb and beef.

The platter came out in a traditional Ethiopian ‘mesob’ – a beautiful, colourful round wicker basket with a removable lid that reveals an equally beautiful, colourful round tray (called gebeta) topped with copious amounts of Ethiopian dishes including lamb tibbs, minced and ground beef kitfo, along with the vegetable combination which included red lentils, yellow split, collard green cabbage peas, shro wot vegetable stew, beets and purple cabbage, on top of a bed of injera – a spongey, Ethiopian sourdough flatbread.

We also got a hot pot featuring a spicy, beef stew.

Walia Ethnic Ethiopian Restaurant - 124 Street - Edmonton
Lifting the mesob to reveal the delicious meal!

I think the thing I love most about Ethiopian cuisine (other than the bright colours and wonderful flavours), is that it’s really quite a communal, sharing, family-style experience.

We were given the mesob with our giant platter, and some napkins. Beyond that – you’re encouraged to use your hands and just dig right in! (So Ethiopian food is definitely not for people who don’t like double dipping). Our group – clearly – had no issues with reaching in and grabbing a little bit of everything!

Not only does the spongey injera flatbread line the bottom of the platter, but you also get additional injera to help wrap the different meat and vegetables.

Walia Ethnic Ethiopian Restaurant - 124 Street - Edmonton
With Ethiopian food you just all dig right in.

As we let the owner order for us, I’m not actually 100% sure the exact dishes/names featured in our gebata platter – I just know I loved pretty much everything.

If we refer to the above photo, my favourites were the beets, the purple cabbage, collard greens, and the middle and bottom lamb cuts (especially the bottom lamb cuts), plus the stew beef (brown, on either side of the platter). I loved scooping up some meat with the injera, including the green jalepenos, and a mix of vegetables for a delicious bite.

It was messy and delicious.

Similar to my experience at Abyssinia, I stopped eating with my injera half-way through and opted to pick at the food separately with my hands (and eventually started using the fork that came with the pot of beef stew). I just find the injera really fills you up and I wanted more of the actual meat and vegetable filling! That’s my preference – all the other ladies scooped with the injera to the very end.

Walia Ethnic Ethiopian Restaurant - 124 Street - Edmonton
When food is also art.

Price-wise, most of the dishes at Walia are in the $15-$20 range. The vegetable combination was $14.99 and all of the lamb tibbs they offer (cooked in garlic, tomato, onions and spicy butter, or cooked in a spicy, hot pepper tomato and spicy butter, or cooked with just onions and green pepper, etc.) were $16.99, and their beef kitfo dishes (ground beef mixed with various spicies) ranged from $15.99 to $19.99.

We just ended up splitting the bill evenly between the 5 of us and it ended up being (including tip) $22 a person, which I think is awesome.

We were the only ones there for lunch on a Monday but despite that, the food did take awhile to come out (close to 40 minutes, then we were rushing to eat quickly to make it back to work at a reasonable time. I’d say the food was well worth the wait though!)

We also all ordered water as our drinks, not realizing the water comes in bottles (I generally don’t like to pay for water so that was a slight boo lol).

Overall though, the group consensus was that Walia was fantastic. The food looked, smelled, and tasted great. The owner/chef/server (three in one!) was so friendly and made great recommendations. Plus it’s always great to support lovely, small, family-owned businesses.

Although lunch is still quiet, the owner tells us that Friday, Saturday and Sunday dinners get quite packed – which is great to hear.

I’m guessing lunches will pick up (they’ve only been open 2 months!) because the great food (and prices) really speaks for itself – they just have don’t really have any Internet presence so far so it’s just a matter of people noticing they exist.

(Alyssa and I actually submitted their Facebook check-in location and Zomato listing for them, so we could tag them in our social posts after the meal!)

So have you been to Walia? (Have you had Ethiopian food before in general?) Let me know what you think!

P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about Ethiopian food, check out this great blog!

Also, there was so much food the five of us couldn’t finish the whole platter so a few of us divided up the food to take home as leftovers. Ethiopian food makes for great leftovers!!

Linda

Follow lindork on Instagram

Walia Ethnic Ethiopian Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Linda Hoang is an Edmonton blogger who writes about food, travel, lifestyle/events and pets. She's also a social media/digital specialist with a journalism background. Linda is in love with her city and loves exploring and promoting Edmonton and other places she visits with her husband Mike. Linda is also the founder of the Edmonton International Cat Festival (and has 2 cats herself, along with 2 dogs).

Previous Post
December 22, 2015
Next Post
December 22, 2015

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Instagram

  • Finally visited the Edmonton Funicular today at the #ExploreEdmonton @dialogdesign #instameet! Pretty neat way to get to our beautiful #yegrivervalley. 😊 Have you been yet?
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegdt #edmonton #funicular #explorealberta #travelalberta #wintercityyeg #wintercity #winter #edmontondowntown #downtownedmonton #rivervalley #edmontonrivervalley #edmontonfunicular #FUN
  • Ventured north for handmade pizza 🍕 and pasta 🍝 at @saccomannos1965! Delicious food at really good prices from this family-run business (since 1965!) They just held a grand re-opening in December. Blog post soon! We also discovered a huge fenced in dog park in this area. 🐶 Can’t wait to come back to try more dishes and take the pups to the park. 😊
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #exploreedmonton #edmonton #northedmonton #northyeg #pizza #pasta #saccamannos #saccamannospizzapastadeli #cheeselover #handmade #authentic #italianfood #italian #edmontonfood #foodlover
  • Classic Vietnamese pork chops on rice with eggs, scallion oil & cucumbers for a nice and needed Friday night in. Super simple. Super comforting! ❤️
.
.
.
.
.
#homecooking #lindorkcooks #yeg #yegfood #edmonton #exploreedmonton #vietnamesefood #vietnamese #comfortfood #vietnamesecomfortfood #porkchoponrice #porkchops #scallionoil #friedegg #friyay #friday #tgif #comforting #fridaynightin
  • I came for the #Instagrammable Skating Rink. 💕 I think that probably sounds silly, but I do love how “Instagrammable” spaces can encourage people to #ExploreEdmonton! Had a lovely double date at the lovely Victoria Park Oval & Freezeway with @mikethyking, @littlmissandrea & Gordon! ⛸👯‍♀️👯‍♂️
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegdt #yegrivervalley #instagramyeg  #edmonton #wintercityyeg #wintercity #victoriapark #victoriaparkoval #edmontonfreezeway #explorealberta #doubledate #rivervalley #winterfun
  • Ohhhhh so many feelings. ❤️ I had such an incredible experience watching @traviswall’s @shapingsoundco AND finally meeting Travis! Fun fact: I used to run a fan page for Travis back during his early #SoYouThinkYouCanDance days. He said he used to check the page for updates on himself, lol. 😂❤️ Thank you to the @albertaballetcanada for inviting me to see this phenomenal show with just the most ridiculously talented dancers! 💃🏻🕺 and for asking me to host the pre-show #DanceTalks Q&A. 🤓 Thanks to @nikolevallins for arranging the meet & greet 📸 and thanks to my old friend @jasmine.topham for coming & sharing in the #SYTYCD love! So happy. ❤️
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegdance #yegarts #abculture #albertaballet #shapingsound #shapingsoundco #traviswall #contemporarydance #ballet #edmonton #exploreedmonton #edmontondance #edmontonarts #shapingsoundafterthecurtain
  • 🍩🍩 DONUT CONTEST! 🍩🍩 What’s your ideal donut? Tell @TheRecRoomCa for a chance to have your donut featured at The Rec Room of your choice, win a $200 gift card, game tags, and swag! If you win, you also get to eat your donut every day in March for free! Head to my blog (link in bio 👩🏻‍💻) for contest details! I also share what my ideal donut is. 😉 Also head over to The Rec Room’s Facebook Page to enter before Jan. 29! 🍩 #partner
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #edmonton #exploreedmonton #edmontonfood #donuts #therecroom #donut #donutparty #youdonutwanttomissthis #donutcontest #yegdonuts #doughnut #doughnuts #makemydonut #makemydonutcontest #buildyourowndonut #diydonuts
  • If there’s a brunch poutine on the menu, we are getting it. 😍🍟🍳 This one has bernaise sauce in place of gravy. 🤤 We are having Sunday Funday at  @therecroomca!
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #exploreedmonton #edmonton #edmontonfood #brunch #sundayfunday #sundaybrunch #brunchpoutine #breakfastofchampions #breakfastpoutine #bernaisesauce #putaneggonit #brunchlover #yegbrunch #therecroom
  • #NewOnTheBlog: I write about the delicious, authentic Venezuelan lunches I’ve been having at @elfogonlatino on 118 Avenue. ❤️ It’s great to have two awesome options for arepas north and south of the river! Read my post on my blog (link in bio 👩🏻‍💻)
.
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #edmonton #edmontonfood #exploreedmonton #arepas #venezuelanfood #venezuelanarepas #albertaavenue #webelievein118 #northedmonton #newblogpost #elfogon #elfogonlatino
  • When it’s -32C out ☃️, there’s no better food choice. 🍜 I warm right up with my mom’s pho at @KingNoodleHouse! (and you can too! 😉) I’m also excited to share that @KingNoodleHouse is participating in Edmonton’s first-ever #ChinatownDiningWeek! We’re offering a $15 two-course dinner option - your choice of a large bowl of pho + a spring roll & grilled pork balls platter. There are 4 other great restaurants in the area participating too. Learn more on my blog! (link in bio 👩🏻‍💻)
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #exploreedmonton #edmonton #pho #vietnamesefood #vietnamesepho #soup #souperb #yegwx #yegpho #yegsoup #yegnoodles #kingnoodlehouse #foodlover #yegchinatown #chinatownyeg #eatyegchinatown
  • Fun fact: @mikethyking makes perfect waffles. ❤️
.
.
.
.
.
#waffleking #wafflekingyeg #thewaffleking #yeg #yegfood #homecooking #sundayfunday #weekendvibes #wafflelover #waffles #brunch #sundaybrunch #pizzasshirt #edmonton #edmontonfood #exploreedmonton #husbandgoals
  • I’m such a sucker for eggs on anything—especially on poutine—ESPECIALLY with shoestring skinny fries. 😍 This is The Cure from @centralsocialhall, with red wine gravy, avocado, bacon and a roasted poblano + white cheddar sauce. It’s eggcellent! 🍳🍟😋
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegdt #yegfood #exploreedmonton #edmonton #edmontonfood #brunchpoutine #breakfastpoutine #poutine #shoestringfries #fries #centralsocialhall #putaneggonit #centralsocialbrunch #skinnyfries #yegdtfood #eggcellent
  • New year, old favourites.
@seoulfriedchicken 🍗🙌🏻😋
(note: they’re closed until Jan. 11!)
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #exploreedmonton #edmonton #oldstrathcona #whyteave #whyteavenue #macncheese #macandcheese #pestomacncheese #pesto #friedchicken #seoulfriedchicken #koreanfriedchicken #lunchdate #friyay #regulars

LINDORK