Thursday evening at Accra’s Tea Baa
These were my very first words about Tea Baa….(which means “Tea Leaves” in Ga)
Oh this is the Tea Baa place everyone has been talking about. Isn’t it a glorified yellow container with a decorated terrace? How is anyone able to fit Accra’s young and trendy youth desperate for a place to entertain themselves in this space?
The response that came did little to reassure me
Oh Tea Baa has amazing food but prepare yourself for a long wait.
In my own typical tastewithprinny style I shot back with
Erm….I think I will pass.
When it comes to waiting for food, I am convinced the norm in Accra is 30 mins but when someone mentions anything more than a 45 minute wait, I start envisioning the chef waking up from his slumber, the errand guy riding a really slow bicycle to get produce from Makola market or the frozen chicken now being put in a bucket with water under Ghana’s 32 degree sun. Nevertheless I managed to get over my misgivings to convince my sisters to have dinner with me at the Tea Baa. Wait! Don’t get excited yet. It was a really quiet Wednesday, no music in the background, 2-3 people in the restaurant and we were just not feeling it so we left. A few days later another conversation ensued which once again had Tea Baa at its core. It went like this
Hey Prinny where should we meet for dinner? Let’s do Tea Baa since it’s closer to your workplace. Tadaaaaa!!!
To start the evening we had the sugarcane lime juice drink that tasted delightfully like homemade lemonade (which isn’t really a bad thing unless your tastebuds were expecting a bittersweet sensation like mine was). Maybe the lemon ginger will do the trick next time.
I recommend the slow cooked lamb with coconut rice (even though I had it with chips). There’s definitely a reason why it is a favourite. The lamb was so succulent and evenly spiced. My friend had the pork chops with coconut rice and even though she would have loved the meat a bit tender she emptied her plate like the girl who can now confidently tie that “duku” in front of her bae. Did I mention my food arrived in 20 minutes? Yes! 20 minutes. This was a first in Accra for me which prompted me to go find the owner manager, Dedo Azu, to give her a big hug.
Dedo is the brain behind Tea Baa. Well the truth is I encountered Dedo as a customer and not a food blogger and this is why I probably love her so much. Dedo is what I call a “hands on” entrepreneur. What made my night at Tea Baa most memorable was the 5 minute conversation I had with her when she made room for me on the terrace. I noted her suggestion to people to go for the favourite (Coconut rice with slow cooked lamb) and even the conversation around the size of her space which she didn’t shy away from but used as the perfect opportunity to talk about her plans to expand. She was candid and open enough to share her ideas to grow the brand and what her expectations for the future were. I didn’t need a formal interview with Dedo to know how important she valued customer feedback or to see her give an impromptu stern customer service tip to one of her employees. She was the life of the space. Her energy and passion is written all over Tea Baa and it’s impossible to leave Tea Baa without a big smile when you meet her.