London fine dining experiences focusing on African cuisine are few and far between. Enter Ikoyi whose West African inspired flavours have got the critics buzzing. Despite offering dishes such as Jollof Rice and Suya Ikoyi’s founders are keen to stress that the restaurant is not a West African restaurant rather one that uses the ingredients and spices to come up with something new. This approach sees ingredients unfamiliar to European palates combined with local British seasonal produce. The Ikoyi menu is created on a foundation of spices most of which are sourced from West Africa.
Ikoyi was opened by friends Iré Hassan-Odukale and Chef Jeremy Chan, who met at school. Iré had an idea to open a restaurant and approached Jeremy for help leading to their partnership. Jeremy who left a career in private equity to become a chef is responsible for developing Ikoyi’s dishes. Of Chinese/Canadian heritages Jeremy visited Nigeria to get a feel for the food and culture but admits he struggled to connect. As such rather than recreate Nigerian dishes Jeremy uses them as inspiration and the base in which to bring his own style. Taking the ingredients and spices he gives them a modern twist resulting in some unusual and unexpected flavour pairings such as plantain combined with scotch bonnet peppers and coated in a raspberry crust to create a visually striking and memorable signature dish. This has proved to be a winning formula that has won the duo a coveted Michelin star.
The plating is exquisite, clean, striking and colourful to show off the ingredients to their very best. The restaurant itself is tastefully decorated,,designed in collaboration with makers and artisans and artists like Nigerian artist Oluseye whose works adorn the walls, and bespoke crafted tableware from ceramicists Owen Wall and Jess Joslin.
Ikoyi is shaking up the establishment and heralding a new era for modern African cuisine.
For further information about Ikoyi visit: https://ikoyilondon.com