I recently went to dine at the Ikoyi London restaurant based in the middle of St James market in London. Ikoyi is a modern take on popular Nigerian dishes in some what of an A La Carte way. I visited the restaurant during their ‘soft launch’ if you may, where they were inviting family and friends to test out and enjoy what they have to offer. My friend ordered for the table so there a few dishes that I didn’t have the pleasure of trying but let’s talk about the ones that I did.
I ordered the ‘Eko Mail’ cocktail which is a millennial pink prosecco based cocktail. Prior to ordering this, I had a sip of my friends ‘plantain old fashioned’ which I decided was way too strong for me. The Eko Mail cocktail BLEW MY MIND. It’s hands down one of the best cocktails I’ve ever had in my life and I say that unbiasedly. It’s sweet in a very soft way, refreshing and cut by the right amount of prosecco to stop it from being sickly. I would order it ten times over.
To start we ordered the plantain smoked scotch bonnet which was covered in a raspberry dust, the chicken oyster, the smoked fish mackerel and the marinated lamb. Out of all of the dishes, I gravitated to the lamb the most. I have to be honest and say that I didn’t enjoy the plantain as it wasn’t ripe enough and was all a bit too-much-heat-not-enough-flavour. I like that they tried to have an unusual take on the plantain and I definitely think it works, I just think that it would be more enjoyable if the plantain were riper and sweeter.
The chicken oyster was very moist and flavourful. Again, I was surprised how much pepper was in the dishes. I expected the food to be hot as it’s oriented around Nigerian cuisine but even an African like me who is well accustomed to spice had to intermittently accommodate each dish with a few gulps of water.
Again, I was surprised how much pepper was in the dishes. I expected the food to be hot as it’s oriented around Nigerian cuisine but even an African like me who is well accustomed to spice had to intermittently accommodate each dish with a few gulps of water. Considering that they’re trying to make these dishes more palatable for those who don’t come from an African culture, I think it would be a great idea to consider turning down the heat on some of the dishes.