Bristol-based East African street food stall Jikoni is to open its first bricks-and-mortar site next month in a cobbled courtyard in St Paul’s. Iman Salat and James Hillier have served dishes from Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania for two years at pop-ups and supper clubs around Bristol and Bath.
Formerly known as Pear Cafe, tiny Jikoni can only seat 20 guests at a time. It will be open from breakfast, when ‘mandazi’ will be served – savoury doughnuts stuffed with spiced scrambled egg or goat sausages. Later in the day, the menu will run to open ‘sabaayad’ wraps, Somali spiced curries, East African-inspired salads and small plates including traditional Somali fishcakes and smoked bechamel ‘awaze’ chicken croquettes.
Iman told the B24/7 website the food reflected her upbringing: “I’ve always been obsessed with food as long as I could remember. I was born in Somalia and grew up in Kenya, and I was lucky enough to be around East African food.”
Jikoni is the Swahili word for ‘kitchen’ – and also, coincidentally, the name of a prominent East African-Indian restaurant in London. The cafe opens on March 2.