Diary of MyWeku Restaurant: The Concept
The idea of running a restaurant began to seep slowly into my consciousness at most three years ago. The challenging bit of it was finding a suitable location. It is often said that location is everything in this business. Eventually the decision was half-made for me. A betrothed piece of land (1 plot i.e. 100 by 70 feet) in Adjiriganor became the natural choice. It was nowhere near a major street or road, but was in an area that had a few well heeled folks – a good number of them as well to make the concept I have in mind workable. The streets are untarred and erosion is having its own wicked way when the rains come in. It is about 5 minutes walk away from the church of Ghana’s most controversial pastor – Obinim. I’m still trying to work out if that proximity is a full blown blessing, a blessing in some sort of disguise – maybe his ill fitting tight jackets or lets call a spade a spade, a mini curse 🙂 Jury is still out on that one.
The concept is a natural one for me. I couldn’t possibly be excited enough about any other concept to devote my precious time and energy to. It had to be local Ghanaian food with a few splutterings of other dishes from the African continent, cooked using local ingredients for locals in Adjiriganor and East Legon in a relaxing and pleasant environment.
I suppose for most restaurenteurs the food is the focus. For me the ambience is just as important and there is, in my opinion, no better way to create that than by making use of nature – greenery and wood. If I didn’t have a strong brand name I want to associate with it, i’d have called it Eden Restaurant. Eden in Hebrew means Spot, Moment, Presence, Open door and Delightful. When you put it all together in English it means “the spot on the earth where the presence of God was an open door to heaven, a delightful place.”
I was once invited to a wedding in Poland by a close friend Rahul, an Indian I went to University with. His bride, Eva was Polish. It remains the best wedding I have been to and perhaps the closest i’ve been to an Eden on earth. We flew into Poland on a Friday night into a Castle where all 50 or so guests stayed. The gates of the castle were then firmly shut and never to be opened.
Breakfast was had by all in a grand style in the castle. The wedding ceremony took place on the grounds and from Saturday to Sunday all our meals were served in a different dinning room of this castle whilst a Polish band serenaded us in the main foyer. It was an absolute feast. I recall being ushered into these thematic dining rooms perhaps every three hours or so to eat. It was an extraordinary experience as we felt transported to a different world away from the stresses of our jobs and life. The ambience was second to none. The intimacy of it all coupled with the variety in dishes made for an unforgettable experience. The gates were finally opened on our way back to the local airport enroute to our home countries on Sunday evening.
That weekend’s experience stuck with me and has ultimately shaped the restaurant concept I’m most obsessed with. The name – MyWeku (MyFamily) – was a given, an extension to our blog – MyWeku Tastes. Now the choice is whether to keep it simply as MyWeku Restaurant or to weave Eden in there, as in MyWeku Eden Restaurant (MyFamily Eden Restaurant).
Feel free to help out here on which to go with. A free meal (when we open) is in the offing for your comment stating which you prefer and why 🙂