Bon Appetite!

It’s strange how bon appetite’ is the universal expression of choice for restaurant staff all over the world. One of my funniest memories from a trip to Luxor, a few years back, was the Egyptian waitress who insisted on walking past our table every few minutes to wish us bon appeti-tee’ in a creepy voice.

Given the prevalence of the expression, one would think French waiting staff topped the league tables on customer service!

Food is an important aspect of travel that can be hard to get right…

You need to gauge whether water is safe to drink, you want to at least try the local eats (as long as it consists of a version of chicken, rice, or chips of course) and you want to make sure you’re eating healthy, fresh, properly prepared food.

But most of the time, you’re going by faith, judgment, or how hungry you are at any given time. When traveling, my diet gets messed up! It’s probably due to eating out a lot and at later times than I would ordinarily. While in Accra, I’ve tried to keep my breakfast a bit regular by making a daily stop at Smoothy’s or Juice for Life for a freshly blended fruit concoction. Lunch out here is proper big food, so I tend to skip it.

Just to clarify things, when I travel I don’t really get down and local I crave comfort too much. I’m probably not too dissimilar from other Brits abroad who want a full English breakfast and Coronation Street available wherever they stay. Hence, my Ghana experience does not include riding on tro-tro (the beat-up minibuses that serve as public transport for local commuters and extreme sport for tourists) or eating roadside cuisine or from any local chop bars’.

My top picks for eating out in Accra have been:

  • Meltin’ Moments a tried and trusted café in lovely Labone, which serves continental fare with some local flavours mixed in. This is my favourite stop for tea and cake (although the Orangery have a better selection of cakes), their club sandwich is also good as, although a better one can be had at the Alisa Hotel bar, which also does nice kelewele (fried plantains).
  • Frankie’s in Osu is good for an English breakfast and their Lounge is a decent spot for a salad or spinach-stuffed chicken. My craving for pasta this weekend was answered perfectly by a stop off at Rhapsody’s in Accra Mall. They have a varied continental menu although somewhat bland and pretty expensive for what it is. Ditto Bella Roma.
  • I went to Le Magellan last week a fab little French restaurant serving really good fish.
  • For African food, the best option I’ve found is Maquis Tante Marie preferably the one in Labone rather than Accra Mall.
  • Buka’s is supposed to be very good for local dishes, however, I went a few times and they always seem to have a number of menu items unavailable, best to just skip reading the menu and ask what they do have!

Having name-checked places to eat in Accra, I must say my most enjoyable meals have been outside of the city. I’ve spent a fair bit of time in the beautiful town of Aburi which is a must-see for anyone visiting Accra. Situated 30 miles north of the capital, Aburi is a small town set in the Akuapem hills, so has a much cooler climate and lush green surroundings.

  • Everywhere I ate here would make my top picks, including: the restaurant at the bottom of the Aburi Botantical Gardens (not sure what it’s called), Little Acre and Aruba . Perhaps food just tastes better in picturesque surroundings. In which case, it should taste wonderful in Akosombo in the Volta region, which is absolutely stunning.

I plan to eat well these last few days in Accra, as I’m billing my next stop, Cape Town, as a cleansing’ trip so will be on a detox all of next week (or until I get hungry)!

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2 Responses to “Bon Appetite!”

  1. Baimba paul christopher john May 6, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Melting moments is lovely but they they need to step up the quality of there pancakes. i still recommend that when you are in London next that you go to camden and check out the pancake stall in camden market. Its near the markets top end and it will provide an appropriate party for the tastebuds of your palate.

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