Paying To Remind Yourself What You’re Missing

Dining Area at Santoku

Lounge Area at Santoku

Santoku is an oasis of developed world dining.  Compared with nearly any other Japanese restaurant in the US, the 1-year old restaurant is bad value for money.  I typically spend thrice what I would pay for sushi in Los Angeles (Hide Sushi) or San Diego (Sushi Ota) — perhaps twice what I would pay in New York.  Unfortunately, only a handful of places give the illusion that you are not actually in Accra.

Located on the ground floor of Villagio Vista at the Tetteh Quarshie Roundabout, the Japanese restaurant serves a collection of cooked entrées featuring ponzuyuzu, and wasabi.  (After a while, it’s strange seeing a menu with these items.) The menu also offers enough sushi to warrant a sushi chef; moreover, it boasts a 200 cedi per person tasting menu (minimum 2 people).

Despite the price, last night I visited Santoku for my bimonthly craving for raw fish.  I needed to remind myself of what awaits me outside of Ghana.  The wait staff are attentive by Ghanaian standards; time from ordering to service is fast; the decor is unmatched in Ghana; the chef employs an attention detail in constructing each plate.  After a year, management has dismissed the Indian and Ghanaian sushi chefs for a Japanese one!

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a place where the foreigners outnumber the locals.  Last night, half the seats were filled by white people (Europeans) and the remainder seemed to be Ghanaians who had worked/studied abroad.

If you’re in an adventurous mood, then too bad.  There is nothing specially caught nor flash-frozen and flown to Accra.  There is no monkfish liver, halibut, white fish, toro, octopus, amaebi, and sea urchin (uni). There is no option for fresh wasabi. The sushi menu offers the following nigiri (fish on rice) items:

  • Yellowtail
  • Salmon
  • Tuna (maguro)
  • Scallops
  • Shrimp
  • Unagi (

You can also order ikura (salmon roe) and tobiko (flying fish foe) as nigiri or sashimi. You can get all of these items except scallops as sashimi.

Sushi seems too exotic for most Ghanaians.  Everything here is thoroughly grilled or fried.  The menu has enough items to say it offers sushi but most of the customers seemed to prefer cooked food.

Other restaurants offering sushi include: Monsoon Restaurant (Osu) and 3121 Sushi Bar and Lounge (Osu). I have never been to 3121.  Monsoon’s sushi chefs are Chinese.  Enough said!

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