14 January 2014
Last updated at 21:24 ET
Two months after a new restaurant was launched in Ghana’s capital, Accra, it is flying high. Known locally as the Green Plane, it is located in an old DC-10 aeroplane which used to travel from Ghana to Europe and the US. It is proving popular, especially with those who want to see what it is like inside an aircraft.
Owned by Ghana Airways before it went bankrupt in 2005, the plane was once impounded at London’s Heathrow airport because of the national carrier’s unpaid debts. The government now hopes to earn some money from the aircraft and the restaurant was opened in partnership with Vindira Company Limited. “Attendance is very impressive. At first, people wanted to have a feel of restaurant in a plane but surprisingly they keep coming,” says restaurant manager Indira Shiyam.
Some visitors have never been inside an aeroplane. “I am excited to be here, my first time in a plane,” said Mary Dapaah as she posed for a photo. “It looks a little different from the inside of planes I see on television."
Some seats have been removed from the 380-seater plane to make way for dining tables and La Tante DC 10 Restaurant caters for 118 people, who enter the restaurant up the covered plane stairway.
The seats have also been rearranged for the restaurant, which is in a plush Accra suburb near a number of luxurious hotels and shopping malls close to Kotota International Airport – diners can hear planes taking off and landing. "The expectations of people who come here are very high... so you have to be extra nice and careful as if you are an air hostess,” says Peace Dzamenu, a waitress at the restaurant.
Bartender Edward Atsu, who used to work at the airport, agrees customers expect good service: “People like to take a drink and just enjoy the first class seats turned into waiting seats."
“Curiosity brought us here,” said a man in traditional dress who arrived with his family. Another customer said: “I fly often, been in a cruise ship, but the fascination of eating a local meal in a plane brought me here. The service is good… I have one wish though, if only they could spark the engine for us to have the feel of flying.”
With its tail fin sprayed in the national colours of red, yellow and green, the restaurant is open all day, but becomes especially busy in the evenings.
It serves local food such as tilapia, a spicy fish dish, with banku, a stiff maize porridge – culinary delights unlikely to be served on other planes. Such food is usually cheap in Accra, so the dishes are considered relatively expensive at the Green Plane – however its prices are still cheaper than the city's upmarket restaurants.
And many people just come for a beer so that they can show off their air cabin experience to friends and family. Photos and words by BBC’s Sammy Darko