In the Procredit building at Airport City, on the roof terrace, Smollensky’s atmosphere is liberating. You’re moderately happy with the view and all that fresh air until you realise with glee that you’re outdoors in Ghana, with a plate of food and not a single housefly in sight. Their annoying little wings obviously can’t carry them that high up so for once you can dine outside and not have to worry about flies or mosquitoes (Smollensky’s serves dinner too).
The waiters are polite and quick on their feet; that probably has something to do with the fact that their manager was sitting right there. Unlike most Ghanaian restaurants, their menu doesn’t list every meal under the sun. They are big on seafood but I would not advise you try it because it seems their clientele are not. The Seafood Provencal I ordered was difficult to ingest because the shrimps and shredded barracuda tasted like they had stayed in the freezer too long. The side order of sautéed potatoes, however, was deliciously light and buttery. Their portions are ample, so unless you have a voracious appetite, a three course meal will leave you too full to walk straight.
I wasn’t privy to this information until I had ordered the Calamari to start off, the Seafood Provencal as main course and a salad to finish it off. The manager personally came to me to explain that he didn’t think I could finish it all because the portions are large. I found that amusing; that he would take personal interest in one customer’s order. (Later reports reveal that he’s almost always there and takes an interest in every customer’s order.)
They were out of Calamari anyway so I made the Chicken salad my starter. I had to wait only a few minutes for the salad to arrive. I took the short wait time to survey the other diners. It was empty when I arrived because I arrived exactly at midday but by this time the place was almost full and I noticed that the meal of choice was Jollof with a side of fried, ripe plantain. The gusto with which they devoured it meant that they were either ravenous or the meal was very good. There was a couple that ordered burgers and fries and they looked like they were enjoying it too.
My salad arrived and I must say I was more than a little satisfied; there was far more shredded chicken than I had anticipated and my palette pleasantly surprised every time I bit into the slivers of mango that were tossed into the salad. I was more than a little full by the time the Provencal arrived.
I wanted to try their local cuisine so while I struggled with the Provencal, I ordered a portion of fried plantain and beans (Red Red) to go. I’ve never understood why restaurants serve this meal with extra protein like fish or chicken; half of that meal is practically solely protein. But anyway I ordered the fish which was fried. As Red Red is my favourite meal I am very particular about the taste. The palm oil must be fragrant, the stew must have just enough tomatoes and there definitely must be some kyekye or koobi (brined fish) in the mix. I’m pleased to announce that Smollensky’s Red Red hit the spot!
All in all, a largely satisfying experience; Smollensky’s gets a thumb up for a wonderfully airy atmosphere, great service and delicious Ghanaian cuisine.