Sunlight, fine dining and strained pockets

Among the rapidly springing high rises in the Accra Airport area stands a grey and white building with the words African Sun Amber Hotel emblazoned on the roof. On the ground floor of this 3 star hotel, visible from the busy airport second bus stop, is the aptly named Ewia Restaurant; Ewia is the Asante Twi word for ‘sun’.
The whole west wall of the restaurant is made of glass and allows a brutal or adequately warming flood of sunlight (depending on the time of day) into the eating area. The decor, white walls with dark wood furniture and pieces of amber upholstery to add some colour is modest but pleasant as are the waitresses who were adequately visible, and served genuine smiles with the meals.
Being in its location as it is, one would expect that the prices would be a little higher than normal; one’s expectations would be exceeded – the prices are through the roof! At GHS60 per serving of steak and GHS30 per serving of fish, it was no surprise that a tourist who sat down for a meal, ordered one coke, saw the price and bolted.
I stayed, however. I was on a mission to discover if the quality of dining might at all warrant the frivolous spending of hard cash in our present economy. I courageously started with a salad seeing as the traditional starters were well into the GHS 30 and over price range. It was the tropical fruit and seafood salad with a rich creamy dressing. The salad bowl was diminutive and came with one small bread roll, hardly enough for the cost of the serving, but the salad itself delivered a delicious, teeming array of flavours. Mangoes and watermelons and pineapples in a pleasing dance with squid and shrimps and lettuce; it was quite the palatial experience.
The menu for the main course was made up of chicken, seafood and steak dishes and then there were the usual national dishes, Banku with Tilapia, Jollof, Red Red. The price of the steak pushed the grilled Grouper to the fore as my chosen main course for the day with a side of baked potatoes and a garlic/onion dressing. The potatoes were baked to perfection and the Grouper was seasoned with salt and parsley. There was a side of shredded carrots, zucchini and string beans lightly sprinkled with salt and vinegar; best Grouper I ever had! The glass of apple juice I ordered was a suitable accompaniment.
The one thing that grabbed my attention on the dessert menu was the cheesecake; it came served in a triangular slice on a white plate garnished with chocolate sauce. It’s the kind of melt-in-your-mouth dessert that puts the whole meal into perspective.
If you can find some cash that has no work to do, what with the impossible price hikes and dollar exchange rates, then lucky you and you might want to spend some of the ‘free’ money at the Ewia Restaurant inside the African Sun Amber Hotel; the meal is definitely worth the pesewa.