Ikoyi, an upmarket new restaurant showcasing the cuisine of West Africa, is to open in July in the new St James’s Market just south of Piccadilly Circus.
It is a joint venture from school friends Iré Hassan-Odukale (pictured left), who was born in Ikoye, a cosmopolitan area of Lagos in Nigeria, and chef Jeremy Chan (right), whose CV encompasses both Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and Noma.
They aim to present a modern take on West African food, using high-quality produce including rare-breed four-horned lamb and line-caught fish in combination with African seasoning that will be unfamiliar to the majority of diners.
Dishes will include Rare-breed jamb ribs with asun relish; Octopus pepper soup with coastal herbs; Wild Nigerian tiger prawn with banga bisque and corn grits; and Suya blade of beef. The most famous West African dish, Jollof rice, will be served with smoked bone marrow and groundnut miso – giving it a very current London twist.
The wine list has been assembled by Sunaina Sethi, operations director at JKS Restaurants, whose skill at matching wines with spicy food is shown at restaurants including Gymkhana and Hoppers. The bar will also serve West African-themed cocktails such as Guinness Stone Fence, cacao nib-infused rum served with lime flower and lengthened with Nigerian Guinness.