Ikoyi to open in St James’s Market on 15th July

Thu 05 2017  |  admin

Founded by friends Iré Hassan-Odukale and Jeremy Chan, Ikoyi will offer a unique take on West African cuisine, with Head Chef Jeremy bringing his fine dining experience from restaurants such as Dinner and Noma to create highly skilled dishes.

The menu will take a three course format, with Jeremy using innovative cooking techniques and modern presentation to interpret West African food. Starters will see high quality produce combined with West African seasoning to create dishes such as Rare Breed Lamb Ribs with Asun Relish (£7.5), and Octopus Pepper Soup with Coastal Herbs (£11). Main courses will showcase carefully selected meat and authentic flavours, with dishes including Wild Nigerian Tiger Prawn, with Banga Bisque and Corn Grits (£27), and Suya Blade of Beef, whilst sharing dishes will feature a Jollof rice with Smoked Bone Marrow and Groundnut Miso, Jeremy’s take on the iconic rice dish famed across West Africa. Working with Aubrey Allen and other specialist suppliers, Jeremy will source a unique breed of four-horned lamb, Manx Loaghtan and line caught fish to be cured and smoked.

Co-founder and Director Iré Hassan-Odukale was born in Ikoyi, a cosmopolitan neighbourhood of Lagos, Nigeria which now lends its name to the restaurant. The pair, old school friends, hope to develop the public’s perception of West African cuisine and its origins, and exceed expectations of those familiar with it.

Ikoyi will be a 48-cover space, designed by the renowned practice Studio Ashby. Entering the restaurant, an intimate bar will line the left-hand wall and will seat up to 6. The drinks menu has been designed by brothers Max and Noel Venning, co-owners of the East London bar Three Sheets, and will complement the food and vision using spices and flavours of West Africa. Guinness Stone Fence (£9.5) is a cacao nib infused rum served with lime flower and lengthened with Nigerian Guinness.

Opposite the bar a waist-height wall interspersed with hanging plants will divide the restaurant space, and lead the way to an open-kitchen at the rear of the room. The central restaurant area is framed by amber coloured banquettes with layering of rich velvets and a contrasting ochre and grey colour palette throughout. Elm wood and ceramic textures will accent the darkly lit space, with bespoke earthenware pendants and table lights creating a natural warmness across the room.

The wine list has been developed by Sunaina Sethi, operations director and wine buyer at JKS Restaurants, and will draw on her experience of matching wines to complicated and spiced flavours.

Each and every detail of the restaurant has been considered, with a focus on specialist and artisan craftsmanship. The pair have worked extensively with ceramicists Owen Wall, Jess Jos and Kasper Würtz to create a range of bespoke plate-ware, whilst art and objects throughout the restaurant will draw abstract inspiration from West Africa, including a print by L.A based artist Aran Darling and a central mural by Lakin Ogunbanwo and Oluseye, a friend of Iré and Jeremy.