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Monday, November 21, 2016

Who's that Biish-ville?


Hi my name is Caroline, and this is my little take on my experience at Bishville Private Dinner which took place this past Saturday. 

Biishville is  a nomadic style dining experience by Kwame Amfo-Akonnor / Biishops. 

I was really looking forward to it because it's different, exclusive, and exemplifies fine dining. 

The event was to start at 6pm but true to Ghana time some guests turned up tardy.

We dined in the garden space, simple yet elegant table settings with beautiful arrangements albeit dimly lit. 

 

As we sat and waited we were serenaded with music and made small talk amongst ourselves .

As far as seating,  I would have rather had my own chair than a long bench. I couldn't adjust my proximity to the table/food and felt a bit further away from my plate. 

I managed to get a sneak peek into the kitchen to try and catch a glimpse of the background action .


Drinks were complementary with several options from sparkling grape juice, red and white wine  and sparkling water , enough to go around for everyone.

Each course meal was presented to us by Chef Biishops which gave it a personal touch. 

The first course was bacon and cheese crostini, an Italian appetizer but I enjoyed his take on this dish which I thought was excellent. It had just the right amount of cheese, was not too salty or overloaded with bacon, I would've liked the toast a bit more crispy (hence the use of baguettes) but that's my personal preference. 

 

The second course was buttered potatoes. When it was served I was afraid that it could potentially be too buttery but it was just right👌 the vegetables tasted great and the presentation was excellent. This ended up being my favorite dish.  

 

The third course was pan grilled pork with sautĂ©ed vegetables. I almost never eat pork so I was not a huge fan of this dish and although it did not taste like pork it was juicy and well marinated. you could really taste the flavor of it and the sautĂ©ed vegetables really added well to the pork. 

 

The fourth and final course - Dessert , was Nutella stuffed French rolls. These were absolutely delicious and so tasty and I definitely wanted more! just the right amount of crisp and Nutella and it wasn't too sweet. 

 

Overall I had a great first at The Biishville Dining experience and definitely hope to attend more in the future.

Editors Notes - on discussion with our scouter for this event , the serving times lagged on a bit in between courses. 
The food although well done seemed to not hold its entirety as standalone course meals and needed to be tied in together.
The buttered potatoes and pork could have been a standalone course but all these are technicalities to fine dining experience or course meal dining. 

Flavor profile and quality was good although portions were small . 

Value for Money - passable with the complimentary drinks . 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Lemon Suya Chicken - Recipe

The long weekend is here, unfortunately am stuck in my mine camp, the hustle is real. But if you

have some weekend plans to do some cooking why not try my recipe for Lemon-Suya Chicken.

Jollof wit Lemon Suya Chicken and Goat meat



Feel free to tweak it to your preference and taste.

Making a good grilled chicken can be done in so many ways and versions, so today I share one of my
recipes using basic ingredients that you can find in your kitchen or your local market.

We have all heard of Orange chicken and its Asian Influence and by all means the use of lemon in

cooking proteins mainly, fish, beef etc because of its acidity.

The Lemon gives the chicken a tangy and zesty flavor , and we all know Suya makes everything all

right with its peppery spiciness.


Lemon- Suya chicken 

A spicy chicken with a zesty , tangy undertone.

Ingredients

  • 1- 2 kg Chicken pieces ( drumsticks, thighs etc)

  • 1/2 cup lemon Juice for 1kg, 3/4 for 2 kg chicken

  • Lemon zest

  • 5 tablespoons of Suya/Tankwa pepper

  • 1/4 glass of White Wine ( optional)

  • 1 chicken stock cube

  • Black pepper

  • Blended ginger

  • 2 cloves of garlic minced/blended

  • Scotch bonnet pepper or 1 habanero pepper

  • Paprika

  • Pinch of salt


If u want more heat and extra tanginess u can add some Mustard.

If you want it less tangy you can add table spoon of sugar.


Process

Wash your chicken pieces , choose to leave skin or skinless.

Add the lemon juice to the chicken

Add Wine (optional)

Blend your ginger, garlic, pepper.

Add to the chicken and add the Suya pepper, the black pepper, chicken stock cubes , dash of salt and

lemon zest.

Add Paprika- the Paprika will give it a reddish hue, otherwise the Suya will give it a yellow

hue/color.

Mix all ingredients

Taste to see if it agrees with your palate and add on if needed.

You should have a semi thick marinade that should not be too watery, and fairly coats the chicken,

make sure to put some of the seasoning under the skin if not skinless and using a fork gently poke

chicken.


Marinade time can be from 2-3 hrs or overnight.

Marinade time depends on preference and type of chicken used. If using soft chicken , I marinade it

overnight.

Reason for shorter marinade time is lemon is acidic and may toughen the chicken but after mixing all

the ingredients it is not too acidic in my opinion.


After marinade put on baking pan or grill as per preference.

Add little oil to marinade ad use to coat chicken whilst its cooking.


When ready dust with a little Suya pepper and slice of lemon.








Enjoy

Let us know if you try it out and tag us on Instagram.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

YajiChurri - Product Review

This is a long overdue post, the stresses of work takes a toll at times.


Acquainted with Yajichurri in Belize

Have you heard of YajiChurri , well if you have not this should get you acquainted.

So I have been following Dooneyskitchen for a while now and came across this sauce she makes

which had her "Tribers" ranting and raving. So I was waiting for the opportune time to grab me a few

bottles to try it out.

The task of getting it was indeed gonna be herculean, as there were no Angel carriers to Ghana yet,

but I had a lucky break that was gonna be my only way of getting my hands on this sauce that has

been making so many rounds on social media.

To be honest this Yajichurri had to travel a long way, From Dooneyskitchen to my friend in London

then all the way to Texas then to Belize before uniting with me and travelling from Belize to DC then

Baltimore.

As soon as I received it in Belize I rushed to taste it. First spoonful, a spicy yet sweet taste and

lingering of suya pepper,onions and herbs. Yes Suya/Tankwa, mind you I did not know at that point

that Yaji was Suya spice ohhh.

It had some traces of blendeded herbs , maybe parsley and oregano inside and then it clicked could

this possibly be a blend of Suya and Chimichurri sauce but only Dooneyskitchen  will know the

secret.

Back in Baltimore I was ready to experiment this on everything that I had planned to cook.

I started of using it with chicken. Seasoned it solely with the Yajichurri sauce adding a little salt to

taste ad marinading it overnight



The outcome was not bad, but in my opinion I felt it needed something extra so I was gonna tweak it

around on my next batch of chicken where I added a little extra Suya pepper from my special spice

source in Ghana and Paprika and some other seasonings.

Results - Perfection

Experimented on Some Steak too



Next phase was to incorporate it with my Ghana Jollof, followed my usual recipe check blog link here .

and Youtube videos - here

I added a few spoonfuls of Yajichurri to it.

Outcome, the Jollof was a tad spicier than usual with a more darker yellow hue to it. Suya pepper does that, it gives it that yellow hue.

I enjoyed the new added flavor profile to the Jollof though.


Kelewele, had to add some yajichurri to my kelewele seasoning for Shege reasons.
not bad at all.

Kelewele with Yajichurri and peanut butter 

The penultimate was to try it on Fish , since Yajichurri is a fish seasoning primarily.

Snapper was my choice of protein.



After cleaning my fish and coating it with Yajichuri sauce solely and marinading it for a few hours,
 



 I popped it in the oven grill.

The fish turned out amazing. The flavor of the Yajichurri took well to the fish and everyone enjoyed it.
Yajichurri Ghana Jollof with Oven grilled Snapper and kelewle

In conclusion Yajicuri is a good sauce at a tolerable price for the volume and number of times you

can use,till it finishes.

In my preference not a standalone for my palette, I would tweak it here and

there based on what am preparing.

Kudos to Dooneyskitchen for creating this African inspired sauce- Follow her on Instagram - @dooneyskitchen and support African businesses.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Burger and Relish - A&C mall soft opening

Who doesn't love a deal and a steal? Last weeks 50 percent off on food had me lurking to Burger and Relish at A&C mall to sample whatever I could, cheaply.

I decided to go with a battalion of hungry foodies to be able to get an array of choices on food on 2 Separate  consecutive occasions. 

The new branch is smaller than the main branch but the aesthetics are well pleasing with leather seated booths and high bar tables and stools and an array of art on their walls. 

First Visit

Being familiar with the menu I went straight in for the kill- The Boss Burger - 63ghc * inclusive of Tax which is commendable getting food at face value price* , but at this deal I wasn't going to slack. Cheapskate u may say but c'est la vie. 

The other food options were the chicken fingers , Smokin Joe's. 

Drinks were - Chocolate milkshake, strawberry milkshake and Passion fruit margarita. 

On The Second Visit I opted for water you will
understand why soon.

I had the Boss burger on 2 occasions, both varying in taste but passable at that price. 

1st visit day -  beef was slightly heavy handed with salt, the burger patty doesn't hold well and almost crumbles with each bite, it was medium well though and accompanied by crunchy over fried fries tethering on burnt. 

The Boss Burger - Take 1
 

The chicken fingers were bland.

The passion fruit margarita was a miss, a forgettable drink at best, it was more a mocktail than a cocktail as 
I couldn't taste any alcohol or tequila , I can't recall what was mixed.

Beautiful Disaster

The  Milo shake, I mean Chocolate shake was the former than the latter. 

The strawberry shake was good though.
 

When I blog about food I may opt for a second redo of a place and giving that they were running a promo I opted to go again the following day 

I wanted to try the Ribs but they had run out of Ribs and basically most of the items on their dessert menu, coincidence or tactical. 

My second take of The Boss Burger on the Second Visit, was on the edge of bland with perfect fries and the bacon had gone AWOL. , but the Smokin Jo and Three little piggies were good. 

The Boss Burger Take 2

A huge improvement too on the hot wings , I asked for "extra hot suicide , kill me now sauce. "
Tender, spicy and just right.

 

To be fair it was a soft opening so these hitches may occur. 

Will check again soon to see if consistency can hold more than their beef patty.

Rejoinder - Food prices  are inclusive of Tax.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Customer Service in Ghana Episode 1

It's common place to encounter poor customer services in many institutions in Ghana, as to why there are many factors that can be attributed to it but needless to say it's inexcusable .

Most institutions have taken a laissez-faire stance to customer feedbacks because they feel other customers may never hear of their bad ways. 

In East Legon there are a couple of places that I have experienced some bad customer service, one which Is on the edge of AnC mall stretch of road but their story is for another day. 

Today I Share with you a friends experience over the past weekend . 

Kindly read and share the link . 

These businesses will only change when they make the concious efforts to educate and train their staff. 

They only focus on customer turnout not satisfaction but things are changing and it starts with each and every one of us. 

Koffee Lounge



Friday, August 26, 2016

Encounter with The Counter

New franchises are opening up and making the food scene quite interesting, hence keeps my taste buds in a frenzy to try out what's new.

The newest baby is The Counter - Custom Burgers a new franchise in town. I decided to scout out the place and have a quick taste test to see how it fairs. 

Located in the Accra Mall's newly created food court space, sprung up from the defunct Rhapsody's; who would have thought that place will vaporize into thin air, but that story is for another day. 

The Counter Burger is an averagely decent space , well lit so I knew my photos will get some nice takes even though at night. It's a quite simplistic design with a little wobbly tables but what the heck I came for the food today on my 1st take not the aesthetics. 

The waitresses were quick to attend and handed us the menu, which was in a file design, a little cumbersome to navigate but luckily a friend was nearby - @thehappygrapeslife and she suggested I try "The Counter Burger" since she had been there this being her second visit. 

So I ordered "The Counter Burger" medium well,  which comes with garlic aioli, and I added  a side of skinny/shoe-string fries. 

The prices are a bit pricey but it's on average 5-10ghc less before tax compared to other places that serve burgers or so called gourmet burgers. Prices are tax exclusive which I think was an after thought on the menu - lol.
 

There is an option of building your own burger but I couldn't figure out how much that cost so wasn't trying to fluke and end up paying more for something I couldn't envisage . 

 

I was with family so we all ordered milkshakes - 3 in total - vanilla, caramel(not sure now what it was) and strawberry. 

So whilst we waited for the food, the milkshakes came in its all its glory- well just in a normal drink glass and a swizzle of whipped cream. 

 

 
The Good Good milkshake test- 
What makes a milkshake taste good? 
Well 1st major key , it should be thick and creamy and never runny, albeit some may prefer the thinner side of things. 

To test if it's thick, on 1st suck, yes sucking from a straw. You shouldn't find it that easy to suck it in one fell swoop, it will take some jaw muscles to pull it up. 
Well in my opinion.
The flavors too must also come through .

Well back to these milkshakes - watery and runny is what we got, a little disappointed though , it came with a dessert spoon so their assumption was it's a thick shake but was hopeful that the food better compensate. 


Food wait time is quite long 30-45 minutes. 

The Counter Burger on 1st sight , is a huge burger. Topped with onion rings, a blanket of melted cheese on the beef patty on a bed of lettuce and tomatoes, I prayed this sight better not be deceiving. 

 


To test if they got my meat temperature right, a quick slice down the middle and voila I think they tried, I would give it a medium well bordering on the verge of well. 
 
The Brioche bread bun was soft and fresh.

The beef patty was quality if I must say so, and had a nice ground beef flavor to it with a perfect texture.

In comparison to other burger places priced at similar ranges my 1st experience there I would recommend but then again this is Ghana

The Second Visit- Testing Consistency

Am not one to normally blog about a place and go crazy on just the 1st take, I scout out the place and try a few things to get a better judgement, based on what I feel during a 1st visit. 


On my second visit I went with 2 other people who had the Counter burger and Chilli Burger , I opted for the BbQ bacon burger. 

Check YouTube for attached video. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_bn5DftgQg



I will keep this short. 

It was a basic burger this time round, nothing special to it or gourmetesque, just a burger bun topped with some oven done bacon and onion rings. 

The brioche bun today was not as fresh as my last visit. I stayed away from the milkshake this time I couldn't risk it. 

 


So in my opinion The Counter albeit new , I think is still finding its footing and it is worth a try and hopefully you catch them on a good day or stick to The Counter  Burger that I had. 

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Friday, August 19, 2016

More to Ghana than Accra - Aburi Mountains Day Trip

When I started blogging , the intention was to showcase Ghana through the eyes of a Ghanaian and to showcase as much as I can and not only focus on what  I found in Accra, but as far and across Ghana that I could go.

There is so much beauty in Ghana,  and not only about Accra, so I will be putting down small segments of my weekend trips out of town and highlighting a few places.

Will start with my recent Day trip up to the mountains of Aburi.

Aburi is a town in the Akuapim South Municipal District of the Eastern Region of South Ghana. Mostly known for the Aburi Botanical Gardens, this rural area has been undergoing some urbanization with the springing up of small cottages and getaway resorts.

My first stop was a family owned Hotel , Little Acre .

The last time I went there was about 10 years ago and I was pleasantly surprised with the new developments there.

Still maintaining its quaint nature, with additions of new hotel/apartment blocks and its vast garden space and area.


I fell in love with the pool side overlooking the valley and  background of hills.

 


If you want to be undisturbed and one with nature this is the spot. Serene with a teasing of subtle modernization. 

 

We didn't want to be fussy with the complimentary food so we had simple yam and chicken and Fried rice and chicken. Simple sometimes is better. 

Food wait time can be from 25-35 minutes but that time lost in this rural utopia against the backdrop of lush vegetation made the wait tolerable. 

 


The fried rice was nicely done, moist and flavorful with some juicy oven grilled chicken - it's easy to go wrong with fried rice but this checked my boxes. 


 


After spending the day at Little Acre , we made a quick pit stop down the road at Peduase Valley Resort for a quick sip at their poolside bar. 

Peduase Valley is more on the urban / modern feel , it's like all you will get in Accra transposed up into the mountains. 



 


The menu is pricey but we just came for drinks , so I decided on the Margarita - safest bet when you want to sample a new place and test their skills. 

This margarita recipe was different, it had orange juice which clearly isn't the norm for a standard margarita . Was skeptical but what the hell.  

I asked if it was on the rocks or if it was Frozen . 

Frozen the waiter said. 

To cut a long story short , this mix was bordering on a schizophrenic Screwdriver and not in the least of a margarita. It was a watery mess , I for once was lost for words but they did offer to remake it after the bill came but I turned it down , there was no saving this recipe of a disaster. 

But to be fair their Pina Colada and Mojito was good hence Bernard the bar tender gets a pass. 


 

Will definitely visit again to sample a few things to get a better scope but for now stay away from the Margarita 


There sure is a lot to see in Ghana and hopefully you join me once again as I explore through my words, lenses and my palates.

Always bringing you the best.

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Thursday, August 4, 2016

How to Make Waakye Stew

Since am being encouraged more and more to Vlog on Top of blogging am giving it a go and see what comes out of it.

As I have previously stated cooking can be easy if you just take your time and ease into what you are doing, its actually a stress reliever. And always do what agrees with your palate.

Waakye Stew is basically a tomato based stew but its done a bit differently done most stews although the stew can be used not only as an accompaniment to waakye but other foods.





If you can not get all the ingredients listed you can exempt them and will still get a good result.

I occasionally cook and may not have all the ingredients but using natural flavours and ingredients always helps get a good result.

This is a step by step guide but you can also revert to the Youtube video for visual direction too.

I used Goat meat only , but u can use any meat of choice from beef to cow foot to wele etc.

Ingredients

Meat

  • 1kg of  Goat Meat  
  • 1 Stock Cube Meat Seasoning
  • Fresh ginger (1  big piece or 2 small pieces) 
  • 1 onion
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • Adobo seasoning or replace with 2 tsps of salt
  • Rosemary
Stew 
  • 2 Canned Tomatoes or Fresh Tomatoes(blended) 
  • 1 Canned Tin Tomato Paste 
  • 4-5 Onions  
  •  Fresh Ginger 
  • 3 Garlic Cloves 
  • 2 Tsp Mild curry powder 
  • Rosemary
  • Black Pepper
  • 2 Scotch Bonnet or 1 Habanero ( u can chose to blend it in the onion ginger mixture) / (I used paprika and cayenne pepper in video)
  • 1 Stock Cube ( Meat )
  • 2 bay leaves ( optional- at  time of video I didn't have any)
  • Oil  
  • Salt to taste 

Seasoning the Meat.


The YouTube Video is Self Explanatory so I will only hit on some Key Tips.
To view video click link below



In seasoning meat  I suggest you can add on or remove which ever seasoning you prefer, I encourage you to add what you enjoy, but with the ingredients above you will get a good flavor of the goat meat.
You can use any other meat you prefer. I only used Goat meat.


- Slowly boiling the meat will make it soft, tender and well seasoned and when fried and later simmered in the stew it will soak up the stew.

- Excess oil from the stew can be decanted and reused and can also be used to make the Gari and macaroni, just drizzle and stir till evenly mixed.


- I choose to lightly season my onions and green peppers or veges when caramelizing  them. 

- I also prefer to season my stew after I have thoroughly cooked the tomato sauce, it's easier to taste alongside the fresh ingredients




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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Baritas - Area Codes

I woke up craving spring rolls today, so I went out and bought some from Barita's, at Atomic junction here in Accra. 

 



The last time I bought spring rolls, it was from Palace of The East Chinese Restaurant
at East Legon near American House and I deeply regretted it. They tasted terrible - who puts curry in spring rolls? And why were they  charging 20 ghc for 2 stupid spring rolls? That's a story for another
day.

Barita's serves 4 plump, juicy, beef spring rolls for 11 ghc.

 

 I thoroughly enjoyed these spring rolls with the accompaniment of the sweet chilly sauce on the side. The spring rolls were fresh off the fire, so they were crispy and flavorful. Not too salty, just right.

I decided to get a main course meal, just to see how Barita's throws down in the kitchen. I ordered their Fried Noodles with beef - which is basically beef lo mein. From the moment I put a forkful of the noodles in my mouth, I immediately rated it 6.5/10. 

 



The noodles were decent, but needed some Hoisin sauce to consummate it. Usually when I
eat lo mein, there is a balance between sweet and savory flavors, for this plate of noodles, the sweet aspect was lacking... they were still decent though - don't get me wrong!

Barita's is a cool place to dine. I hear a good number of University of Ghana students frequent there, as its quite near the Legon campus.
Check it out - not every day expensive dining, sometimes, try a joint and get your life!
 

Spring rolls - 7/10
 

Fried Noodles w/ beef - 6.5/10

Saturday, July 9, 2016

How To Make Waakye without the Waakye Leaf

So I am not a recipe specialist, but have my own techniques I use and the food always comes out right. I will share a few of my tips here in the best measured way possible.

One thing about cooking is your preference is always the best way forward and being delicate with what u are cooking will always make it turn out right. 

 

So my easy steps for Making Waakye without the Waakye leaf, for those especially out of Ghana and may not have access to it. 

Baking Soda is the Key to this but u can also do without it. 

Preparation Time- 2hrs including soaking of beans period 

Difficulty -Medium ( but with my tips- Easy)

Ingredients 

2 cups of black eyed beans 
3-4 cups of rice ( I used jasmine, but any rice you prefer can be used) 
2 tablespoons of baking soda 
Salt 
Water 

As per the video on YouTube it short and simple with these few ingredients. 

1. Soak your beans for at least 30mins to an hour. 
 

2. Put the soaked beans to a boil after, I normally omit adding salt at this point. 

3. Add 2tbsps of baking soda. If you like your Waakye darker add a third. 

4. Add your 4 cups of rice. If you like more beans in your Waakye than rice add less rice in proportion to the Waakye .
 


5. Add salt 

 

6. Cover with foil to keep steam locked in and turn on low heat for 30-45mins to cook. 


 


Tips. After adding rice it may not look like the rice is getting dark but as it cooks and steams and settles it gets dark. 

If you do not like the taste of baking soda although u may not taste it at all, you can omit it, sail beans a little longer and go through same process, your Waakye will however look just a slight hue lighter than usual . 

Keep posted on our Channel as I show how to make Waakye Stew Next. 

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Saturday, July 2, 2016

Cafe Kwae - A tranquil zone in a bustling city

It's been a while since I blogged , but am working on something big and it takes time to perfect. In the mean time here is a little review from a TasteGhana Correspondent - I will chip in a few extra points.

Café Kwae is one of my new favorite places in Accra. From the reminiscent decor of a quaint Western Cafe with natural lighting from its architectural position to their subtly dim lit aura during the later hours.


The relaxing ambiance to the fresh, tasty food to the attentive customer
service - I have grown to love it.

Our initial acquaintance with this Ghana Owned Business was paved with mixed feelings. 

Initially had a Club Sandwich or mistakenly given a Chicken Cobb Sandwich and later on tried some skinny fries and chicken wings and tea.

Grilled Chicken Wings

Food was averagely good but I was not getting the feel of Value for Money,hence visited sparingly.  

 

A few months down the line and a few tweaks here and there I have met some passable consistencies. 


Orijinator

They have their own in-house cocktails and I have tried their Originator which was a basic mix of coke and Orijin and something not memorable to me now, but the Apata Bi Ase (Ginger ale, ginger syrup, lemon
juice with a shot of rum) cocktail which I think is new. 

Apata Bi Ase
On my recent visit, decided to splurge a bit, so I had the Café Kwae Rice Pot

(rice, chicken, calamari, shrimps, shallot, carrots, green peppers,
'secret spices')

The rice pot was yummy. It was quite spicy with the pepper they give on the side. I like spice, so it
was great! The cocktail was very gingery - each sip warmed my heart!

 


 I must say, the chefs at CafĂ© Kwae always concoct awesome, fresh flavors that are truly memorable.

Café Kwae is a pricey place to dine, but given the unique flavors they conjure, eating there is worth it.
I hope they can maintain their standards and quality service.
8.5/10 for both the rice pot and the cocktail!