HomeBentsifi's TattleOf shower showmanship, finding memories & Captain Yaw's malt vinegar 'fish n...

Of shower showmanship, finding memories & Captain Yaw’s malt vinegar ‘fish n chips’ in Accra

Bentsifi’s Tattle. Dec 21

There’s always a chance that dreams can come true. As often happens this time of year, Maria Carey has invaded our airwaves and is telling me am all she wants for Christmas. Her tune has replaced Jingle bells as the defacto Christmas anthem, a contemporary one, however, and alas has transported me right back to my younger days when I was living in London.

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Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” got played everywhere. Literally. At the shopping center. On every radio station – well, most of the pop ones. And, the own version that was a hit in my shower when I was washing down. It well and truly swirled around every neighborhood, and here, again, a couple of weeks to Christmas, 30 years later, in balmy Osu, as my car bounces off on the uneven road, Atlantis Radio, is having a field day taking me back to those days for the umpteenth time today!

All I want, to complete this nostalgia is fish and chips, I murmur. And driving by the Byblos Hotel road, towards the illuminated #1 Oxford Street building, there, on the left is the snappy glass door of a corner shop with the inscription, ‘Finest Fish and Chips’!
What are the odds! All this past week, I have been pining for things in London. I saw a photo of a scene of Oxford Street with the Xmas lights up, and red double-decker buses on Facebook the other day which piqued my yearning. “Missing London”, I wrote, sharing the image. To my surprise, in a short space of a few hours, several people had clicked the “like” button, with many also writing they had too. COVID has truly done us in. We all just want a chance to go on our vacations from time to time.

Anyway, I stop immediately, of course, and enter the shop. ‘Captain Yaw’, I see it is actually called. Lovely little diner, with a separating counter with two tills, and a kitchen next door. I am warmly greeted and I immediately see a board with what’s on offer.
Chicken mushroom and steak pies, going for GhC 18! Charming!
I’m looking at their prices, and I think, this is steep, GhC 72 for fish and chips. But, I thought, for a piece of nostalgia, I would indulge. Besides, there doesn’t seem to be anywhere else in this town that really offers that London-style dish. with the chips, freshly cut, not from frozen bags.

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They tell me they get the fish from Tema and that today they cassava and redfish. Cassava, I opt for, delighted that the fish too would be fresh, and local, although their potatoes are imported from Holland.

My dish is a takeaway, although there is a place to sit and eat in the tiny diner, it’s late and I want to get home and really disect the chow. The cook, a lovely lady, clearly a Londoner, offers me all of their sauces, tartar and hot pepper, to try. They have the vinegar and salt standing by and all memories of my fish and chips adventures come flooding to me.
it’s their packaging that does it for me. The golden fried batter, sprinkled with some chopped parsley is laid over the chunky chip in a rather lovely rectangular cardboard box designed with newspaper clippings and the Captain Yaw’s logo on top.

Book a WangoWango Tour: Connect with nature on our ‘Dine-in-the-Wild’ ‘OKERE Valley Fix’

When I dig in, I don’t stop till it is all gone. I shouldn’t have drunk the bottle of water I did just before I started. I was full. But, I can tell you that, ahoy, Captain Yaw’s delivered. The salt and vinegar, and the whole experience have been one episode I’m willing to repeat. And you have got to go and try it. I found my memory!


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