Accra Restaurant – Part 6

Instagram Post 10/16/2018

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One more photo from another amazing dinner at Accra Restaurant, 2065 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd in Harlem. The last time we went, Ayesha, the owner, told me that this dish was new on the menu and recommended that we try it. I am so glad we did!

Yam Porridge (aka asaro). Not what some customarily think of as porridge, and not the kind of yams some think of as Thanksgiving fare (those are actually sweet potatoes), these yams are seasoned and cooked down so there is a little mashed yam “soup” and some larger tender chunks. Topped with a sauce made from onion, tomato, and dried fish, it was another winner. If this isn’t comfort food, I don’t know what is!

PS: Get some of their amazing homemade ginger beer when you go! Non-carbonated, non-alcoholic, unique and delicious.
 
 

Accra Restaurant – Part 5

Instagram Post 9/12/2018

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The last photoset from our recent amazing dinner at Accra Restaurant, 2065 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd in Harlem – until I go back for more, that is!

[1] Jollof Rice with Chicken. And a hard-boiled egg. Accra’s jollof rice, the widely celebrated and beloved tomato-based West African triumph and a source of both pride and dispute among African nations as to whose version is best, was delicious as was the chicken.
[2] Pounded Yam Fufu and Okra. This time, the fufu is yam rather than cassava; different but equally tasty. The okra soup is delicious although mucilaginous – an acquired taste, or perhaps an acquired texture. Generally my advice to those who are new to okra soup is to try to think past the consistency and just focus on the wonderful flavor!
[3] Wakey (you might see waakye) with Fried Whiting and Gari. Waakye is Ghana’s culinary claim to fame; similar to West Indian rice and peas, it’s made with rice and black eyed peas or cowpeas. Gari is dried, ground cassava, a little like Brazilian manioc, but unique. And tasty fried whiting – what’s not to like?!

I’ll post the detailed story about our incredible experience as well as a roundup of everything we ate soon.
 
 

Accra Restaurant – Part 4

Instagram Post 9/10/2018

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But wait! There’s more! More photos from our recent incredible dinner at Accra Restaurant, 2065 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd in Harlem, that is. Continuing the cavalcade of food we loved….

[1] Eba with Egushi. So many fufus, so little time, and I admit to liking them all. In contrast to smooth, pounded cassava fufu, firmer eba has tiny flecks of gari (dried grated cassava) in it and is a little tart or sour tasting. Perfect with egushi (you might see egusi), a delicious soup made from ground melon/pumpkin/squash/gourd seeds.
[2] Banku with Baked Tilapia. Banku is fermented corn or corn + cassava dough, a little sticky, and is a typical partner for baked tilapia and other fish dishes.

More to come from Accra Restaurant….
 
 

Accra Restaurant – Part 3

Instagram Post 9/8/2018

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Our recent off the charts dinner at Accra Restaurant, 2065 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd in Harlem featured so many delicious dishes that I don’t have a favorite, other to say how much I love the cuisine of Ghana and the way Accra does it. I’ll do a comprehensive post soon, but meanwhile here are few more photos of what we enjoyed.

[1] Dibi and Acheke with remarkable mustard onions. Dibi is roasted meat, in this case lamb, sliced into chunks, and often part of the street food scene; the mustard component is a significant ingredient in the recipe. Acheke (you might see it as attiéké) is grated cassava with a texture similar to couscous.
[2] Guinea Fowl (Akonfem). The meat is a little leaner than chicken and the flavor is more pronounced. It was topped with peanut powder, traditionally a blend of peanuts and chili powder along with spices like ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon.

More to come from Accra….
 
 

Accra Restaurant – Part 2

Instagram Post 9/7/2018

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More deliciousness from our recent feast at Accra Restaurant, 2065 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd in Harlem. Full story coming soon, but for now a few more photos of what we enjoyed.

[1] Emo-Tuwoo and Peanut Soup with goat. I’ve seen many spellings for this starch including emotuo and omotuo; orthography aside, it’s a compressed rice ball that goes perfectly with peanut soup. Sounds good, right? Tasted even better!
[2] Fried Turkey Tail. Known to some as the pope’s nose, I call it the part that goes over the fence last. Smoky, juicy, delicious and often overlooked by those who don’t know better! 😉

More to come from Accra Restaurant….
 
 

Accra Restaurant – Part 1

Instagram Post 9/6/2018

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Ever had Ghanaian cuisine? Want to try some of the best you’ll ever have? Then look no further than Accra Restaurant, 2065 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd in Harlem. A group of us converged there recently and thanks to their excellent food and warm hospitality, it was an extraordinary experience. The tale is the stuff of which fantasies are made and I’ll post a detailed story soon but in the meantime, I’ll feature some dishes to whet your appetite.

[1] Plantain Fufu and Palmnut Soup. Pinch off a hunk of the starch with your fingers, dip it in the delectable soup and enjoy. One of my favorite starch/soup combinations, but they’re all great here.

[2] Suya. Grilled, spicy skewered beef (sliced here), best known as a delicious street food.

More to come from Accra….
 
 

Golody Halal Buffet

Instagram Post 9/3/2018

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Golody Halal Buffet recently opened at 222 1st Avenue in Manhattan. Featuring West African and Mediterranean cuisine, it’s steam table, self-serve style and their descriptions of what I selected were simple: “Lamb Chops, Chicken, Spicy Chicken, Athieke with Peanut Butter Sauce, Cassava Leaves”. Timing is everything and ours was less than stellar; we were told to come back in two hours and there would be more choices. Ah well, maybe another day. Note that although the signage reads “All You Can Eat”, it’s pay by the pound.
 
 

Allerton Avenue International Food Festival

Instagram Post 8/25/2018

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Scenes from the Allerton Avenue International Food Festival in the Bronx.

It was a treat to see Mama G African Kitchen at the festival. I’ve written about one of their brick and mortar restaurants (3650A White Plains Road in the Bronx) here and here so I don’t need to repeat how much I like their food; I’ll just show you what we got:

Waakye – you may see variant spellings but the pronunciation is wah-chay (rhymes with watch-way) and it’s Ghana’s culinary claim to fame. Similar to West Indian rice and peas, it’s made with rice and black eyed peas or cowpeas; the characteristic reddish-purplish-brown color can come from dried red sorghum leaves, millet leaves, or even baking soda. Yellow gari (ground cassava) on the side.

Jollof rice – There’s a keen rivalry among West African countries over whose version is the best but tomato paste figures heavily into all of them.

Fried turkey (the part that goes over the fence last – yum!), plantain, and fried croaker submerged under spicy sauce.

Delicious!
 
 

Accra Restaurant

Instagram Post 6/30/2018

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As part of a recent jaunt to Harlem, we visited Accra Restaurant, named for Ghana’s capital. Senegalese food is a bit easier to find in this neighborhood, but we had set out for a Ghanaian lunch and this steamtable spot provided just what we were after. Alas, my photos of their savory okra and palm nut soups with fufu got lost in the sauce, but here are two dishes that we enjoyed equally well:

[1] Fried whiting with jollof rice. Our jollof rice, the widely celebrated and beloved tomato-based West African triumph and a source of both pride and dispute among African nations as to whose version is best, was perfectly delicious as was the whiting.

[2] Chicken with waakye. You may see variant spellings but the pronunciation is wah-chay (rhymes with watch-way) and it’s Ghana’s culinary claim to fame. Similar to West Indian rice and peas, it’s made with rice and black eyed peas or cowpeas; the characteristic reddish-purplish-brown color can come from dried red sorghum leaves, millet leaves, or even baking soda. Love it!

Accra Restaurant is located at 2065 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd, Manhattan.
 
 

Pikine

Instagram Post 6/19/2018

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Pikine, a West African restaurant at 243 West 116th St in Manhattan is definitely worth a visit, particularly if you’re unfamiliar with Senegalese food. Portions are large (suitable for two, I’d say) but be forewarned that oftentimes many dishes are unavailable, sometimes because they’re served only on certain days of the week (typical for many African restaurants) but sometimes just because the kitchen reports that they’re out.

We ordered Senegal’s national dish, Thiebou Djeun – spellings vary widely but pronunciation is close to Cheh-boo Jen – and to call it rice and fish is an understatement even though the words translate as rice and fish. It’s made from “broken rice” (easily found at nearby African markets) and if you look closely you’ll see its short grains, but it begins its life as standard untruncated rice that breaks in the field or during processing or milling; the shards are sorted by size and are highly desirable since they cook faster and absorb flavors more readily than whole grains. The rice, combined with chopped onion and garlic, is cooked with tomato paste that lends its deep red color and rich flavor, plus okra, carrots, cabbage (your vegetables may vary) and perfectly seasoned fish.

Our second dish was Maffe (often spelled Mafé), lamb stew with vegetables in a tomato/peanut butter sauce, another Senegalese classic that’s not to be missed.