ByJulie Albers and Welmoed van Ens
Tired of plastic cutlery and cold pasta? Desperate to try something other than overcooked vegetables? Head into town and discover the unacknowledged gem of the Pauwstraat: Ethiopian restaurant Sunshine. Hidden in what looks like the dodgiest ally of Utrecht at night, this restaurant is definitely worth a visit.
Don’t be fooled by the humble (read: barely noticeable) sign above the entrance. Upon opening the door, you will be greeted by a smiling waiter and the sight of an adorably tacky bar, adorned with tropical fruits and Ethiopian flags. After you sit down at your table delighted to discover real cutlery, you will be informed that you won’t be using it. Ethiopians eat with their hands.
We can heartily recommend the experience of a shared meal. It consists of many different dishes served on one big enjera, a sort of sour pancake. Even though we noobs found some of the food a little too spicy, the African banana beer you can use to wash it down makes up for it a lot.
The warm and relaxed atmosphere is a welcome break from both moneymaking Dutch restaurants and Sodexo alike. It’s refreshing to try something completely different and Sunshine’s atmosphere of genuine hospitality more than makes up for its lack of fancy furniture. Whether it’s a cultural thing or due to the fact that the restaurant is a family business, they have a way of instantly making you feel at ease.
If this wasn’t enough to convince you, you might be interested to know about the excellent price quality ratio. Sunshine offers you this experience at a price that is well within your student budget. Especially when you share a huge enjera with your friends, your meal – including drinks – will not exceed 15€. So step out of the bubble and your comfort zone, and enjoy the experience of Ethiopian dining!