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A feast of diversity

Last updated 05:00 14/11/2012
Ethiopian Food

ETHIOPIAN EATERY: Bebeta Asfaw opened Cafe Abyssinia because she saw a need for an Ethiopian restaurant.

FRENCH FARE: Charles Millet says his cafe Eiffel on Mt Eden Rd has become a destination eatery.

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The diversity of the Puketapapa region is being served up with a week-long food event that starts tomorrow.

Taste of Puketapapa was created to reflect the distinctly ethnic mix of the area through the popular pastime of eating out.

During the week, 25 cafes, restaurants and takeaways will be selling signature dishes for people wanting to sample something a little different.

The dishes are priced between $5 and $10 each.

Like the local population, participating eateries include those from South-East Asia, the Middle East, China and Europe.

One of the more unique outlets is Ethiopian diner Cafe Abyssinia.

The boldly painted cafe owned by Bebeta Asfaw is tucked at the back of a stark mall on Mt Roskill's Stoddard Rd.

Ms Asfaw says she opened Abyssinia because there were no other Ethiopian restaurants in the region.

The cafe specialises in meats that have been slow-cooked with herbs and spices and then served with enjera, a sour pancake-type bread.

Vegetarian dishes are also available.

"A lot of Kiwis come here," she says.

"They have tasted Ethiopian food overseas and liked it, so they come here to eat it."

For its signature dish Cafe Abyssinia will be serving up a "traditional Ethiopian lunch", which is a sampler plate of different stews.

Just a few kilometres away a French-experience is on offer from Eiffel patisserie and deli.

Charles Millet established the Mt Eden Rd eatery eight years ago in a converted warehouse.

He says it has become a "destination", drawing a mix of clientele.

"The way this area has developed over the last four to five years there is great diversity, and I'm happy we attract a variety of people, including people from Asia and the Middle East," he says.

His signature dish for the event is a cheese, mushroom and spinach croissant with bechamel sauce which also comes in a ham variant.

"We wanted to do something that is simple, and traditionally European."

The Taste of Puketapapa runs from November 15 to 22, and is sponsored by the Puketapapa Local Board.

Board member Ella Kumar says she would like to see people coming to taste what is on offer.

"There are some fantastic little places doing great things in our area, so we wanted to do something to support them."

Signature dishes purchased over the week will earn diners stamps in the Taste of Puketapapa Passport and put them in the draw to win prizes.

Visit aucklandcouncil. to download

a passport or see the full

list of eateries that are taking part.

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- Central Leader

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