Inventive West African Restaurant to Open in Fitzrovia this October
Opening on October 8th on Berners Street in Fitzrovia, Akoko will bring Londoners a taste of West Africa, combining local ingredients with vivid aromas and authentic spices. One of the most anticipated openings of this year, the restaurant will offer a unique window on the still relatively unknown cuisine of West Africa in a stylish and relaxed setting.
Founder, British Nigerian Aji Akokomi, has taken inspiration from family recipes and his travels across West Africa. Working with Head Chef JM Chilila, the team will pay homage to the country’s culinary heritage by using recipes passed down through generations and traditional cooking techniques of smoking, curing and fermenting to maximise the flavours and textures of the ingredients. Akoko, which translates to ‘time’ and also ’the first’ in Yoruba, will take Londoners on a journey that celebrates the richness, vibrancy and diversity of the Saharan region in a progressive and elevated way.
The team will showcase a forward-thinking menu combining high quality produce from African and British suppliers, with an emphasis on seasonality and sustainability. The menu will include well-loved West African classics such as Smoked goat served with jollof rice, Pounded Yam with native lobster egusi, Beef suya, Quail yassa as well as desserts including Goat milk ice cream with uda burnt cream and caramelised Ghanaian cocoa butter. The wine list has been developed by top sommeliers, Honey Spencer (previously of Sager & Wilde, Noma Mexico and Australia and Nuala) and her business partner Ania Smelskaya (Silo) with an emphasis on organic and sustainable wines.
Designed by René Dekker Design, each and every detail at Akoko has been handcrafted to showcase the natural beauty, simplicity and earthiness of West African rural areas. To bring warmth and light to the space, the walls are covered in a soothing terracotta clay from Clayworks limited. Contemporary African art by Niyi Olagunju adorns the dining space and bespoke ceramics inspired by the legendary West African 1960s ‘Queen of Pottery’, Ladi Kwali and mid-century modern Nupe pottery, has been designed by artists such as Andile Dyalvane, Isatu Hyde, Sarah Jerath, Cara Guthrie Ceramics, Stefan Anderson, Jono Smart, Sofia Ceramics, Kat Wheeler Ceramics and Jun Rhee.
This autumn, Londoners can enjoy a rare and refined restaurant that offers a unique taste of West Africa.
Akoko will open on 8th October with a soft launch from 25th September to 7th October with 50% off the tasting menu. For bookings, visit Akoko.co.uk.
21 Berners Street