A TASTE OF GHANAIAN LOCAL DISHES
By Paul Ndiho
If you appreciate authentic Ghanaian food then you have something in common with Joseph Konney Mensah, founder and owner of Ultimate bar and Restaurant in Teshi – Accra Ghana. He’s a chef whose passion for making local and continental dishes has earned him the title of “best Chef in Town.”
Ghana has a rich culture, one that it has managed to hold onto for centuries. This culture is reflected in Ghanaian cuisine. It features traditional dishes from each ethnic group, tribe and clan. Most Ghanaian dishes are comprised of a starchy portion and a sauce or fish, goat meat or beef soup. This trend is evident at the Ultimate bar and restaurant.
“We operate every day, Monday to Sunday. Our main dishes are local, continental, and Chinese. With the local we have our local dishes known as Fufu/Banku, everything local that Ghanaians eat.
Founded nearly 7 year ago by Joseph Konney Mensah, this restaurant is now generating a buzz for its great food and attracting hundreds of people every weekend for live music.
Now Mensah is expanding his brand. He recently acquired a custom made mobile kitchen that caters for outside catering parties and wedding receptions.
“We also have our special which is Ultimate special rice. It’s been blended with chicken, beef, and shrimp…that is what we fry it with to have our special.”
His ambition to own a restaurant started when he was a young man. He mastered his craft in London and the U.S. where he worked in different kitchens before he moved back to his native country to launch Ultimate bar and restaurant.
“I started small. But, as time moved on I leased the land, the place that I was doing, my time got closer so I move into my own house…and I employed a few chefs. That were more experienced than I do so, I started a picking a few things that I didn’t know from them… and here I am today being a chef and an owner of Ultimate.”
Customers are spoiled for choice, sampling everything from a Banku – everything local that Ghanaians eat. Assistant chef Benjamin likes preparing fried rice and pizza.
“If I have my leisure time I move around to work with small, small people to train them for them also to become like me. Because it’s through him that I was able to become like this. So I want always to educate people that they are interested to do it so, I also help them to.”
Monica Annawi has been working here since the restaurant opened. Her specialty is making traditional foods like Okra stew. She says that she enjoys bringing a smile to people’s faces.
People come and say oh, their food is nice, it’s very tasty…and when they say that about you, you feel good, you feel pride.
Ultimate bar and restaurant employs more than 30 full time workers and has positioned itself as the best place to work in the area. Experts say the eatery has the potential to grow beyond Accra and spread to other cities hungry for a real taste of rich Ghanaian cuisine.
Paul Ndiho is a Ugandan – American video journalist/Executive producer, Africa Innovations & Technology based in Washington D.C with interests in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship in Africa. He is passionate about mentorship and developing the next generation of Africa’s young leaders. Email:email@example.com, Facebook: Paul Ndiho and Twitter: @pndiho