West-African cuisine meets modern and innovative recipes in St. James Park. Ikoyi explains their preparation style as ferment, burn and pickle which they infuse into all of their menus. The chef Jeremy Chan who aims to cook the best food in the world, is also not afraid to use unique ingredients such as Grains of Selim, a eucalyptus-scented long peppercorn exceptional in broths and Agbalumo, the African star apple which has the tang of a tamarind. It is more than fair to say this 40-seater Michelin starred blind tasting restaurant is bold, original and innovative. There is a lot of heat at Ikoyi, not only in the food they serve but also the adventure they take you along in creating the haute cuisine of 16 countries that make up West Africa.
An a la carte menu is not offered at Ikoyi, only a blind tasting menu. As vegetarians you can also ask for an extended tasting menu. For vegan customers, sadly, the extended version is not available.
The menu is based on best products available on the day but probably the most instagrammed and recognised dish, the Plantain & Smoked Scotch Bonnet, is also the genesis of Ikoyi. First bite of the menu - and the spiciest - this fried plantain dish is dusted in raspberry salt and served with a scotch bonnet chilli dip. The level of spice levels go down as you work your way through the menu but be warned heat is the sensation you will be left with. Tigernut mousse prepared with beetroot was served with shaved aussie truffles and smoked rapeseed oil is another contemporary dish that looks effortless on the plate. A mushroom bread & egusi, the fat- and protein-rich seeds popular in West Africa was served alongside kumquat and pine emulsion.
Date, Friends, Colleagues
Fine Dining, Celebration, Romantic
Definitely go if you want to test your boundaries. Can be a risky option if you can not handle heat. West African flavours are poorly represented in London’s so called diverse culinary scene and Ikoyi is a bold change to perception.