Diasporian News of 2014-05-03

Eating Ghanaian in London

STAGE 1: FINGER LICKING RESTAURANT. ‘Eating Ghanaian’ is a kitchen series that seeks to shine more lights on the numerous Ghanaian restaurants within London and the UK at large. This is the journey that takes you through the nooks and crannies of the traditional Ghanaian recipes and condiments, as far as food preparation is concerned. Food is very important to each and every living being, but eating has never been so delicious and satisfactorily healthy, while having breakfast or dinner at the Finger Licking Restaurant in Croydon Township. Seeing is believing as some say, however, tasting and eating is rather aromatically sensational at 'Finger Licking'. Just head down to ‘Finger Licking’ which has one way or the other become the talk of Croydon town among fellow Ghanaians and Europeans. The restaurant is the only Ghanaian eatery that has been serving their meals buffet-style for one’s money’s worth, to both Africans and Europeans. There was no better time to approach the Ghanaian lady who is behind all the ‘Ghana-Finger licking’ recipes and spices, than now. She goes by the name Aunty Ruby. Wearing her signature smile in the conducive environs of her restaurant, this is what the culinary inspired lady had to say. What prompted you into this catering business, is it the passion for the Ghanaian community living in the Croydon catchment area or just the sake of making money? A.RUBY: It is all for the passion, because I love cooking and always like people to fill their hunger with my definition of frying, boiling, steaming, baking, roasting and toasting as a caterer. What made you come up with the ‘eat as much as you can’ idea which is still not synonymous with either Ghanaian or any African restaurant? A.RUBY: As a restaurateur I wanted to give Finger Licking an Afro-European and contemporary twist, in light of how we cook, apportion and serve our meals. That is how come, I came by the ‘eat as much as you can’ idea as an Afro-European restaurant. Aside Ghanaians, do you get patronage from diverse clientele? A.RUBY: Yes, I get patronages from diverse clientele such as Europeans, Caribbean people, Asians, Nigerians and other Africans. What sets you apart from the others? A.RUBY: I would confidently say what sets us apart from the numerous others are the buffet-style service we provide and our prices which goes to all extent to meet each and every pocket. And because I have travelled far and wide, my kitchen exudes the taste of an international cuisine. Why would you class your restaurant as one of the best places to eat? A.RUBY: Our food is delicious, healthy and good value for money. We are located at a vantage point where boarding a Train or a Tram from the West Croydon Station or catching a bus at the West Croydon Bus Terminal comes just as easy as ‘finger licking’. We also strike a cordial and personal relationship with our cherished customers. How are fellow Ghanaians taking on board the taste and bud of Finger Licking? A.RUBY: They have all taken to it like their sumptuous dishes. What is the moral behind the name ‘finger licking’? A.RUBY: The moral behind the name is in the taste of our meals, which is just as delicious as licking a melted chocolate on one’s finger. Do you cook all alone, or you are part of the cooking team? A.RUBY: I am the head of the cooking team. Are you a professional caterer? A.RUBY: Yes I am. What makes one a good cook? A.RUBY: A good cook to me, is someone who knows about what they are cooking to satisfy the best of tastes, while keeping all the basic cooking standards and hygienic cautions in the right environment. Which meal is the speciality of most of your clients? A.RUBY: Jollof Rice, Omutuo (rice balls) and Peanut-Butter-Soup which is the Europeans’ favourite. As well as Fufu, Kenkey, fish, Tuo Zafi in addition to Kokonte. Has the credit crunch and its related recession taken a massive toll on your customers? A.RUBY: Yes, it has definitely done more damages than good to businesses up and down the country. Due to that situation, and to keep the business moving, I am giving more for less, given the prices and portions of our meals. Finally, tell us if you can, how you got into the catering world? A.RUBY: It all thanks to my dear mother, also a good cook in the cooking and catering industry in Ghana who advised me to follow suit. 'Finger Licking' Restaurant is located at number 14 Station Road West Croydon, CR0 2RB. Opening days and times: Monday-Saturday, 8.00am-10.00pm, Sunday 11.00am-7.00pm. Tel: 0208-8680-8886. BY YAW NKETIA: TOUCHING YOU FROM A DISTANCE WHILE COLLECTING, COLLATING AND REPORTING AS JOURNALISM DEMANDS.Source: Yaw Nketia
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