Hi readers, it’s been a while. I visited a newly opened West African restaurant in Fitzrovia called Akoko and just thought I share the evenings pictures. Akoko means time in Yoruba, and what an apt name to pick as it’s time for more West African inspired cuisine restaurants to open up in London following Ikoyi’s Michelin star success. I was very curious about what Akoko brings to the table, so on seating down and seeing the 2018 Masterchef finalist William Chilila running the open kitchen, I smiled and instantly knew it would be a good evening .
The earthy and wooden decor reminds me of being in a hut in an African village. They definitely got the decor right.
Masterchef finalist dishing out a plate.
The whole crew finally arrived. You might have seen Martha ( better known as that friend of mine that’s always late ) in a few of my blog posts. Yep she turned up an hour late this time. I looked at her and smiled..next time I will tell her dinner is 5pm instead of 6.30pm.
The first three snack plates arrived after we sat at our table. From left to right, a grilled plantain with cashew cream and spiced nuts ( Boli and Epa ) which almost reminds me of Nigerian street food flavours, a Ghanaian yam croquette, mushroom purée and truffles and the third plate was a savoury doughnut filled with veal . I really enjoyed the first 2 and thought the doughnut needed something extra. Maybe make it more moist and perhaps sweeter ?. Something else I really liked was their plates and bowls. It added to the earthy feel of this restaurant.
Nigerian pumpkin soup with chunks of grilled lobster and moringa oil with a side of Guinness bread and very smooth butter. This dish was rich and earthy, transporting you to Africa in seconds. It was soo moerish, we all looked at each other and said we could do with another bowl.
Jollof rice , the much contested West African tomato and peppers based rice dish arrived in a calabash topped with braised goat. It seems like this Jollof rice was cooked in just sweet peppers and Unami stock (normally has tomato and meat stock ) hence the slightly different flavours to the Nigerian Jollof we were all used to. We thought the rice was almost there, albeit needed just a little bit more salt and heat.
Martha passionately speaking about the time she tried to burn the whole house down when she cooked smokey Jollof rice on an electric hob. The whole family apparently ran out of the house. She had an extensive list of things not to do when cooking Jollof rice. I might get her to do a Jollof blog post
BBQ Quail , onions , lemon, mustard seeds and Kani sauce . This dish known as BBQ quail Yassa was very tasty. Yassa is a Senegalese spice, however it tastes soo familiar as some roadside eateries in Nigeria also use this for grilled chicken and meats. This was one of my favourite dishes of the night
For desserts, we had a burnt Uda infused cream, Ghanian cocoa butter, goat milk ice cream , ehuru and uziza oil. I think I remembered them saying moringa oil and green oil. I loved this dessert quite a lot. The taste buds was buzzing.
The £59 tasting menu ( there’s also a vegan option ) was well worth it. For an opening month, I was quite impressed with this west African restaurant in Fitzrovia. The dishes were on point . I really look forward to seeing how they evolve over the coming months. See you soon Akoko.