Acclaimed West African cooking arrives at Borough

A new West African restaurant is to open next month in a railway arch next to Borough Market. Akara is Aji Akokomi’s more casual follow-up to his acclaimed Fitzrovia flagship, Akoko.

The new venue is named after the crispy West African fritters made from black-eyed beans which will be served as starters, stuffed with prawns and Vatapa shrimp sauce, hand-dived scallops, ox cheek or chanterelle mushroom pâté (costing £6-10).

Main dishes include barbequed meat, fish and vegetable plates such as Labu Aged BeefDibi LambAubergine dressed with Chilli Oil and Nokoss Sea Bream (priced between £14 and £38), served with Akara’s signature rice dish Edesi Isip, which originates from southeast Nigeria, while desserts include Tamarind Date Cake and Bofrot, a Ghanaian doughnut.

Guests can sit either at tables or at a counter overlooking the open kitchen at the rear, and there is also a mezzanine private dining room. A six-seater bar will serve cocktails including a Cacao & Dates Negroni and a Smoked Plantain Caipirinha (both £11), as well as non-alcoholic options and a concise list of wines from lesser-known grapes chosen to complement the cuisine.  

Aji says: “The Akara concept has been a labour of love for quite some time, and we’ve always envisioned it here in Borough. We’re thrilled to bring Akara to this exceptional location, where the restaurant will serve as a vibrant celebration of the unique dishes, ingredients, and techniques that excite and inspire us.”

He opened Akoko three years ago in Berners Street, and this year’s Harden’s guide describes a meal there as “an incredible dining experience… totally unique and supremely atmospheric“.

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