Despite some stiff competition – not least from Urban Grill, its stablemate in the same group – Santoku remains Ghana’s best restaurant, if not West Africa’s. Dining here is a world-class experience, with expertly trained staff and a blend of well-executed and inventive Japanese dishes that stretch well beyond sushi and sashimi dishes (although these are both fabulous). Santoku also serves some of the best cocktails in town, including ‘saketinis’, best enjoyed on their new, supercool terrace.
Conveniently situated close to the centre of Osu, Buka is, without question, one of the best lunch spots in the city – and more often than not has full tables to show for it. Set on the first floor, it gives a sense of escape from the throng. The food itself hinges largely on Ghanaian and Nigerian specialties – dishes include okra stew and eba (a dough ball eaten with stews).
Ghanaians tend to be fans of Indian food, and Heritage often gets pointed to as one of the best curry houses in the capital. The food is equally pleasing, being authentic, spicy and taken from a diverse menu of largely North Indian dishes. .
From the leather bar seating to the tilework in the private dining room, the attention to detail in Coco Lounge is quite amazing. Local artist Nana Anoff has installed pieces alongside thoroughly modern and brave design touches, as you’d expect coming from the same stable as design store La Maison next door, which also curated the restaurant’s interior. The tight menu of mains includes sandwiches, burgers and fish and chips. Plus there’s a wide range of salad dishes, rice bowls and that wood-fired pizza.
Urban Grill is one of those restaurants that breathes quality: the food, the décor and the ambience are all excellent. Essentially a high-end steak house, the meat is corn-fed and imported directly from Nebraska, then cooked over a charcoal grill to perfection. The best steak in Ghana.
Le Magellan is a good dining-out choice, particularly in the evenings when business colleagues, friends and couples convene to wind down at the end of a day. Service is polite and well-practiced, and both the menu – full of pastas, seafood and steaks – and wine list reflect the fact that this remains one of the more upmarket dining options in Accra.
La Chaumiere’s sophisticated French dishes have been catering to Accra’s discerning diners for more than a decade. It offers a smattering of North African flavours for good measure – dishes such as grouper with harissa and mint yoghurt – but the mainstay is classic and honest French cuisine, from a crispy niçoise salad to a wonderfully thick and sticky onion soup au gratin. It’s popular with visiting dignitaries.
Set in one of the most prestigious spots in the city, overlooking the Polo Club’s playing field, this restaurant has a beautiful atmosphere. It’s one of the most impressive buildings in Accra, making effective use of wood both on the interior and exterior. It’s also refreshingly understated. The recently revised menu is unswervingly Italian, with risottos, gnocchi and ravioli with spinach and ricotta. The steaks and the grilled fish are also excellent. Their service is attentive here as well.