Mary's Place - The WhitehouseWritten by:Zoe on: June 25, 2013
Mary (pictured) has been running the Whitehouse on Ho’s main drag for 30 years. It was the first place eating place recommended to me to by the team at Kick Start Ghana who were generously hosting me for a few days and I can see why. Mary serves simple, good quality fresh food that combines local ingredients for a western palate with incredibly friendly service. I was not disappointed by my first meal there: Fried Rice with Tilapia and Mary even allowed me into her kitchen to watch her prepare the meal and take photos – that’s how friendly Ho is.
Tilapia is on every menu in town since the nearby Lake Volta after which the region gets it’s name is bursting with this delicate meaty fish. Tilapia is notably less commonplace in Accra where smoked herring and mackerel dominate.
Mary uses a traditional mortar and pestle – an ‘Ankara’ – to grind onion, ginger, a little kpapko shito, garlic and salt to make a marinate the fish. Coats them all over after making some incisions in the flesh and they are then fried to a light crisp in vegetable oil. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Mary used Jasmine Rice for her fired rice – I was expecting a typical long grain and I think this is the secret to her fried rice. Absolutely delicious.
Ho is a very popular tourist spot – probably because it is so clean, tropical and friendly and very chilled out (see other post ‘The Ho Down’) for more details. It is also a hub for volunteer organisations and understandably Mary’s Whitehouse (I don’t think she gets the joke) is a natural draw for those who are not ready to eat banku – the regions favourite dish – every day. At 12GHC for Tilapia and 10GHC for Fried Rice and Chicken it’s a little more pricey than other chop bars in town but its’ still great value. See next post for Banku and Okre Soup at ‘Hillview chop bar’.