Urban Junkies London - link to this newsletter http://www.urbanjunkies.com/lon/17/0613.html
Tue 13 June 2017
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Chop, Chop!

Chuku’s founders Emeka and Ifeyinwa. Photo: © Angus Bremner
We’ve tried it all; from bagels to bao, biryani to bibimbap. And while tacos, ceviche and pho remain firm favourites on menus across the capital, we’re seeing a new focus on West African cuisine. Nigerian, Ghanaian and Senegalese flavours are peppering up the city culinary landscape, and it’s all down to some soon-to-be-household names who are ready to champion the recipes they grew up with.
Up in North London, sibling-run Chuku’s have re-imagined traditional Nigerian dishes into a tapas format. Smaller portions and their #chopchatchill emphasis on getting to know your table mates mean you can try spiced plantain, jollof quinoa and moreish moi moi (distract friends to eat their portion too, trust us), and still have room for brilliantly messy barbecued peppered chops and Chin Chin cheesecake.

In central, Ikoyi opens on 15th July, and will be London’s first West African restaurant to focus on fine dining. Director Iré Hassan-Odukale has brought on friend and chef Jeremy Chan, with past stints at Dinner, Noma and Hibiscus, to run the kitchen, and with what sounds like plenty of new bold flavours from Nigeria and Senegal to inspire him. We’re particularly excited by the mention of rare breed lambs and asun relish, octopus pepper soup and wild Nigerian tiger prawns with banga bisque and corn grits.

And if you can’t wait until then, find your way to Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen at the Night Market in Kensington until 18th June. Her Chop Bar will be in full fling with Ghanaian classics that have already converted Pop Brixton and her pop-up at the Sun and 13 Cantons in Soho. Flavour-wise, we’ve been getting to know buttermilk-drenched cornflower battered tilapia, suya beef and chunky plantain chips, which have been knocking all our usual lunchtime picks out of the park. And it’s not all about London – Zoe’s headed to New York’s Upper West Side to host a one-off supper club on 21st June to celebrate the release of her book in the States.

So whether we’re booking in at Iyoki or finding somewhere to perch at the Night Market, we’re giving our old favourites a rest this week and embracing the #chopchatchill pace.
Returning to Regent’s Park tomorrow, Taste of London brings its sprawling restaurant festival back to the city with five days of demonstrations, tastings and pop-ups from Kricket, Portland, Bao and Ember Yard, as well as some of the best names in British food: Tom Kerridge, Andi Oliver, Neil Rankin and Dan Doherty. And did we mention the brand new Taste Residence, where Alex Atala, Ana Roš and Ollie Dabbous will be serving up taster dishes to guests themselves? We did now.
Taste of London runs from 14th-18th June at Regent’s Park. Tickets available here
Calendar Picks
This Week’s Picks
Dirty Dancing under the stars at The Luna Cinema. Various locations including Hall Place, Bexley DA5 1PQ  Tickets for Sunfall Festival’s day and night extravaganza, starting at Brockwell Park. Norwood Rd, SE24 9BJ  With Smokey Tails and friends in Hoxton Square for a good cause. Hoxton Square, N1 6PB  New public spaces and galleries for the V&A’s REVEAL festival. Cromwell Road, Knightsbridge, SW7 2RL
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