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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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