London has a growing appetite for new fine dining.
French cuisine may have defined the genre with crisp tablecloths, elegant tasting menus and artistic blobs of sauce. But increasingly, we’re seeing a far wider range of cuisines embracing the style and bringing their own twist.
A few years ago Ikoyi opened in St James’s, headed up by chef Jeremy Chan (who’s completed stages at Dinner & Noma), serving West African-inspired dishes. It’s been one of the most staggeringly well-received new openings of the past couple of years: lavished by critics, packed with punters, and scoring its first Michelin Star within months of opening.
And now – after a difficult year of lockdowns and uncertainty – the highly anticipated Akoko is here, and following directly in those footsteps. It’s just opened its doors in Fitzrovia, and is headed up by Masterchef: The Professionals finalist William JM Chilila.
The place itself is gorgeous: warm, textured terracotta walls are accented with West African art & pottery – there’s even some from Ladi Kwali, who earned the nickname the “Queen of Pottery’ back in the ’60s. It’s the perfect setting for Chilila’s stunning menu of West African classics made with British ingredients, including:
- Grilled 28 day aged beef suya with caramelised onion & confit tomato
- Lobster with egusi ijebu (melon seed) velouté & pounded yam
- Octopus with ofe nsala (spiced catfish) velouté
- Grilled aubergine with aubergine caviar with maafe sauce
Stop by for a cocktail at the bar first, then settle in for an exceptional culinary journey.
NOTE: Akoko is now open. You can find out more, and book a table, at their website right HERE.
Akoko | 21 Berners Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 3LP
If you want to meet the neighbours… head to the Berners Tavern