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The Ikoyi London Restaurant Experience With Ibifuro Longjohn

Hey, beautiful people! Happy Sunday y’all!

I read somewhere last week about a said High-end Nigerian restaurant that just opened in central London. In my mind, I was like “Aren’t Nigerian cuisine always expensive? So what’s special?”, not until I read in detail how this restaurant operated.

Anyway, let’s cut to the chase. I got so excited when a dear friend of mine who resides in London visited that same restaurant and her review on that restaurant was brilliant. She was there with her beautiful friend and the pictures taken spoke a thousand words. I had to buzz and let her know I’d be showcasing her and her review word for word. (It was perfect, it didn’t need any edit). So all ye Londoners (“init-init?!” people), see where you can go to. Join Ibifuro as she takes us on a mouth-watering journey. Shall we begin?!

IBIFURO’S “IKOYI LONDON” EXPERIENCE
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Some weeks back, when I saw pictures from friends about the new Nigerian restaurant that just opened literally a stone throw from Picaddily circus, at the heart of central London, I was thrilled that finally, an avenue has come for Nigerian food to be showcased and presented properly to a wider audience of non Nigerians and Africans..
That the time had come for us to finally “export” and retail our cuisine in the city, just like how the Chinese or Thai people have at least one food outlet on almost every major street in Central London.
Like the name “Ikoyi” typifies affluence, it would have been so wrong for the restaurant with a grand name to be situated in Camberwell or Old Kent Road.
It wouldn’t have done justice to the brand but despite the Nigerian name, it is important to note that the restaurant was not like the others- there was no pounded yam and egusi soup on the menu- instead the menu presented a fusion of West African and Mediterranean cuisine with a “naija twist”, that explains why the restaurant has “Garden Egg and Wild Spinach Efo” and the famous “Palm Punch” -a mixture of palm wine, Tiger nuts & Nigerian spices – on their menu.
We were received at the door by co founder Jeremy Chan, who also waited on our table and was so helpful and of good service.
We started out with “Buttermilk plantain and Smoked scotch bonnet” and ” Manx Loaghton Rib and Asùn relish” for starters, now if you have zero tolerance for spicy food, stay clear from the plantain as it was very spicy but tasty.

For mains we had “Wild Tiger Prawn with Bàngà Bisque and “Jollof rice and Smoked Bone Marrow”. I must say that the Jollof rice (or you can call it coconut Jollof rice) ranked more than I expected, and the size of a serving could feed two adults which is an improvement from what it was weeks ago.

The dessert was my favorite – coffee, roasted cumin and ùda cookie that tasted like crumbs of groundnut cake (kuli-kuli). That totally blew me away. Kuli-kuli in central London?? It’s a Waawu.

The fun cocktails like “Ikoyi Chapman” and “Palm Punch” were not bad at all but I must say that they also practice ‘African time” as we had to wait for 30 minutes before our food was served.
In all, it was a beautiful experience, the food was very delicious and tasty, and I will definitely be going there again soon.

 

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Thanks Ibifuro for this brilliant review. You told the story so well.

So dear readers, We can all agree this looks very fancy and worth the try. I’d have loved to see a popular signature  Nigerian dish on the menu. They could call it something fancy like “Hard cassava grain pudding aka “The Malleable” with a side of Sautéed Melon grits in Orìshirìshi sauce. You’re Welcome, Chef Chan! If you are a real Nigerian, you should know in a heartbeat that I meant Garri and Egusi soup.

I noticed that their menu prices look like decimal point numbers in ‘tens and ones’ but let it not fool ya. Add all you need to eat and convert it to Nigerian Naira and you’d see you just spent someone’s monthly salary at a sitting.lol. Anyway with this review, I think we are entitled to a free three-course meal.

So, London residents/visitors, have you been there (yet)? Please let’s know what your experience was like? Would you want to spend your money here or just save all that money and hop on a bus to Peckham. Let’s know your thoughts.

 

 

Ikoyi  view picture by  Arenike Adebajo

All images credited to Ibifuro Longjohn

1,023 total views, 4 views today

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    Trisha
    August 6, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Oh wow. So nice. Heard about it. Will definitely meal there soon. To think the menu prices are well fixed, it’s unbelievable.

    I’m on my way.

    Nice on IB… and Bubu too. 😘

    • Reply
      Bubu
      August 6, 2017 at 5:00 pm

      Yeah,in retrospect, the price is right.

  • Reply
    Live In Ibadan
    August 10, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Really nice! But they should add some amala, eba, semo na. That’s what makes it really Nigerian! I like that there’s banga rice and jollof rice. Great review!

    http://www.liveinibadan.blogspot.com

    • Reply
      Bubu
      August 10, 2017 at 6:18 pm

      Hahaha. I hope they read this.

  • Reply
    OldNaija
    August 26, 2017 at 5:32 am

    Wao! Just wao! I’m salivating already.
    ~ http://www.oldnaija.com

    • Reply
      Bubu
      August 27, 2017 at 12:45 am

      You can say that again.

  • Reply
    Yeyenta
    September 2, 2017 at 6:30 am

    Ikoyi was a mixed experience for us but mostly good. The dishes were nice and though I thought the pork suya was over priced it was delicious. The jollof rice had crayfish with mild coconut flavour- moist and somewhat greasy, moreso when you mix the bone marrow in (Very tasty though!).
    We had to wait for quite a while for the food too (African time, eh!) so my daughter was NOT pleased. She gave them a middle of the road review (Not thumbs up and not quite thumbs down. More like 90 degrees- kids give the most honest reviews, so I would listen if I ran the place!).

    For such a high end location, the proprietors have found a clever way of making up to cover costs. Such as replacing bone marrow for meat- but somehow it works! Lol😀. Nigerians love their meet so they would do well to incorporate more meat into their dishes or make them a little less pricey.

    Still gathering my thoughts on the buttermilk plantain and the manx/ lamb (quite small portion)…

    Palm punch was nice- No hint of tombo there though. Quite impressed with the Ikoyi chapman too- simple but creative!

    They need more options on the menu but I understand that they are just starting off so might take a while to get there but judging by the busy custom today they might be expanding soon.

    The toilets are actually very neat and classy- Love the individual hand towels.

    My conclusion is that Ikoyi is not a Nigerian restaurant so if you are looking for an authentic Nigerian cuisine please go elsewhere. It is, however, a fine restaurant in Central London inspired by West African cuisine- a taste which is gradually being introduced to the wider world in a lovely location.

    I recommend it and would go back again. As it’s not Nandos I won’t visit too often but it definitely has the feel-good effect.

    • Reply
      Bubu
      September 2, 2017 at 6:53 pm

      Wow! Great review Yeyenta! Did you say personal hand towels. Ehnnn?! That’s why the food is pricey na. The jollof rice is actually translated to hand towelled-jollof rice. Lol

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