The Living room restaurant: Unbeatable comfort food in the heart of Accra’s golden triangle
I had known about The Living Room for several years but as a cosy bijou cinema in East Legon. Undoubtedly my eyebrows were raised when on my usual “rounds” my Dad suggested we pop into the Living Room restaurant. A restaurant? Anyway, I went along. The Living Room restaurant is only a stone’s throw away from the former living Room cinema, both in the heart of Accra’s golden triangle in East Legon on Otele Avenue.
As we approached the entrance we were met by a friendly waitress who was ready to usher us to one of 3 or 4 outdoor seating areas. I enquired if they had a takeaway service to which the answer was a yes. Without having to look at a list or a menu, the waitress, Mabel Torgbor, confidently and expertly reeled off the numerous names of the dishes on the takeaway menu. There was not a single follow up question on the dishes that was not met with an impressive and knowledgeable response. It is often said that “A firm, hearty handshake gives a good first impression” but in a restaurant context if your greeter can kick the ball out of the park as this waitress did then you’d have won my custom for centuries to come. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
I ordered Aprapransa which happened to be on the “specials for the day” list and my Dad ordered banku and okro soup with an assortment of meat for both himself and my mum. The food arrived in reasonable time and within 20 minutes or so we were back in the car on the short drive to Nmai Dzorn.
The general consensus in the family was that the dishes hit the required mark. Unsurprisingly, a couple of days later we were back in the Living Room restaurant for another lunch time order. The banku and okro soup had impressed my parents the last time, so I had to have it. They both ordered fufu and light soup this time.
As luck would have it we were served yet again by Mabel, who also offered to carry the takeaway across the road to the restaurant’s allocated car park. The car park was impressively large which always helps.
Yet again the food was on point.
I had three more days left to the end of my month long holiday in Ghana and had eaten my way through virtually every notable restaurant in Accra. The Living Room became my favourite in the golden triangle area. It was, therefore, a no brainer when David Tamsey and I decided to have lunch before I left Accra for London, that my preferred local venue was always going to be the The Living Room. Here I was again but only that on this occasion I had a sit-down meal alongside a couple of families seated a few feet away and some rather cool looking millennials enjoying their meals.
The background music was just at the right decibel levels and allowed folks to actually hear themselves “think”, a rarity in Accra.
David and I must have talked for close to 2 hours with perhaps one or two occasional interruptions from the waiting staff to see if everything was alright, which we both appreciated. In the end a manager named Nancy, came over to ask us in more detail what we thought of the restaurant and the food. Surely this was not your typical Ghana restaurant service, was it? I had become used to “sorry we have run out of xyz” or some other poor customer service but this experience restored a little bit of faith. Such excellent service is still few and far between but perhaps there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Mind you Josie’s Cuppa cappuccino had been just as good so who knows this experience may soon become the norm.
Overall The Living Room restaurant was a relaxed place with equally relaxed but efficient front of house staff. The space was well designed with plenty of greenery to enjoy. There is an indoor seating area but these never appeal to me as much as the outdoor spaces. The food, mainly classic and traditional Ghanaian is as good as any. I am told the restaurant also hosts movie nights and has live music sessions for their patrons on specific days. This is one that is now etched firmly on my memory and will definitely pop in the next time I am in Accra!