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Khana Khazana is behind an Engen petrol station in West Ridge. I don’t mean that in a vague, in-the-area-of, hidden-in-a-little-street-nearby way. You pull off the road into a petrol station, park in the petrol station, and then walk behind it.
Don’t let that put you off. KK’s garden setting makes you forget the location almost immediately. On the boundary with Engen is a line of trees and a series of tables beneath an arbor, all of which does a good job of screening off reality, particularly at night. The covered seating and bar area is tucked away on the opposite side of the plot to the entrance, and separated from the open kitchen by a small lawn.
Go on a Saturday night, when traffic on Kojo Thompson road is quiet, and it could easily be one of the pleasant outdoor restaurants in Labone or Cantonments – Tante Marie, Tandoor and the old Home Touch sprang to mind.
It’s an extensive South Indian menu that gives pride of place to dosas, and is of course predominantly (though not entirely) vegetarian. Starters of potato pakora, onion bhaji and chicken 65 were generous and very good. The meat came up juicy, robustly but not overpoweringly flavoured and sprinkled with curry leaves.
Dosas were good all round, though the house special, which included ordinary grated cheese, flirted a little too eagerly with blandness. My podi masala dosa was crispy, spicy and smooth inside, and served with a good vegetable curry and great coconut chutney. Our companion chose one of the two meat dosas (one lamb, one chicken) and gave it the thumbs up.
Thalis are also available, and anti-dosa visitors can choose from a range of curries with bread or rice. Beers is sold, but try not to drink so much you need the toilet – you’ll need to return to the petrol station and use their facilities, which means breaking the spell.
Drinks, starters and mains for three people came to around 70 cedis all in. For good international food in Accra that is outstanding value.
Findability: Worth the bother. Khana Khazana is on the stretch of Kojo Thompson Road between North Liberia Road and Castle Road. Since Kojo is one way, it’s easiest to approach from Liberia Road – if driving east to west, turn right at the first set of lights after the carriageways diverge. If driving west to east, it’s the fourth left turn (and first major intersection) after the junction of Graphic Road and Kwame Nkrumah Avenue. Once you’re on the road, the Engen station is impossible to miss. Park in the forecourt if you can, as the alley up the side can get congested – I had to hop up at one point and move my car.
For taxi landmarks, try the Avenida Hotel, which is nearby. Otherwise you’ll have to pick a landmark further out and use the directions above – try Mantse Tackie School at Graphic/Nkrumah intersection, or Museum of Science and Technology at the Barnes Road/Liberia Road intersection. [map]
NB: Popular Accra guide No Worries lists KK as Kasana Kana. The correct spelling is elusive. But it’s the same place.