The Gold Coast
224 Portland Road
South Norwood
Croydon SE25 4QB
We are slow! So, so slow! At this rate we will never finish! Truth is we got tired and I suppose sometimes we feel like forced-fed ducks. Not nice eating things you don’t like or things with dubious provenance, or even more dubious look… That’s why it took a while before we moved on to Ghana. Website wise the restaurant seemed OK and the menu quite edible too, but I could already “flavour” the aftertaste of leathery stews and disturbing spices. Or even worse: onions and dangerous black beans. I like variety, I like discovering, but I really don’t like sitting on the sofa with swollen stomach, jeans undone and a pint of Pepto on the coffee table. So how do you avoid all this? You don’t, you shut the f@~# up and drive to the restaurant.

The place is near Croydon, which is not exactly a short drive. It’s a house, on the corner of the street. The look from the outside is something in between those dodgy pubs and B&Bs near Victoria Station, but it has more atmosphere, I suppose. A band was playing in the pub on the ground floor and the place was very busy. The restaurant upstairs was semi-empty, apart from two small groups of quiet customers and two elderly and rather pathetic men trying to chat up the very young and good looking waitress. Now…it’s been a while since we went and I have very little recollection of what the food tasted like. Surely it wasn’t amazing otherwise I would have remembered it and judging from the amount of boxes and bottles of Gaviscon we have scattered around at home, it probably wasn’t very “light” either. I remember though that portions were enormous. So, to make a long story short, this is what we ate. And I’m afraid I have nothing else to add to this review apart from the score!

Kelewele: £3.50. Deep fried plantain.

Red-Red: £8.50. Black eyed beans Cooked in palm oil served with a side of Deep fried plantain.

Jollof Rice: £3.00. Basmati cooked In tomato sauce.

Waakye: £3.00. Black eyed beans with Brown rice.

Abenkwan: £11.50. Palm nut soup with assorted meat, ginger, onions pepper, tomatoes and Omo Tuo.

  • Food: 2. 5
  • Ambience: 2
  • Service: 2.5
  • Value: 3
  • Overall: 2.5
So, at the start I was really impressed! My expectations about this one were zero. I was dreading the thought of a miserable evening in a shabby, far away place with bad food. What we found as we got off the car was a lively, albeit a bit rough pub. It was very crowded, with live music, happy people, not refined but with character. It was also quite obviously genuine, as we were the only white people in the place. I was really pleased.

Sadly the dining room upstairs was depressing, half empty and generally made you want to kill yourself. It vaguely reminded me of a place near our previous flat where a charity had a canteen to feed the homeless. OK, it was better than that but not by much.

Food was alright. The trouble the more we go through African countries is it’s always the same stuff and this is getting pretty boring. Also it’s not particularly great stuff to start with. I am a huge fan of fried plantain so that’s what I had, and it was OK. Beans and rice were spicy and passable. I had a palm nut soup with ginger, meat, tomatoes, etc., which would have been positively delicious had it not been so hot I could not finish it. It was chilli overkill – I am used to hot food and I don’t dislike it but that was insane. At this level of heat, the dish was, sadly, virtually inedible. I had a glass of wine on which I prefer not to comment – I should have had a beer.

I have no recollection of how much we spent but it was surely a tiny bill. Is it worth going this far for the experience? It’s a lively pub but as far as the restaurant is concerned, er. . . no.

  • Food: 2
  • Ambience: 1.5
  • Service: 2.5
  • Value: 2.5
  • Overall: 2.12