So I finally went to Ikoyi!
It was actually a last minute surprise visit. I had been having a shitty week at work and to top it off, the Friday of said week was multiple times worse. Having lamented to Mr J all day, coming home and lamenting some more, he knew there was only one thing that could lift my mood….FOOD. He knows me all too well.
With the “I have a bright idea” look on his face, he asked me to hop in the car and we headed toward central London. Of course I was complaining some more because what are boyfriends for? LOL. I paused often to ask “where are we going” but he kept shut and kept driving.
Because I had never actually seen Ikoyi physically, I had no idea where we were going until we got to the door. I was beaming with excitement at the prospect of finally trying the restaurant that is putting West African food on the contemporary dining map.
It took me a little while to decide what to eat because I wanted everything, however the prices made me quiver a little so I had to respect myself. We went for the Buttermilk Plantain and smoked scotch bonnet for starters. I am a plantain all day everyday kinda girl and this buttermilk plantain definitely hit the spot. It was full of flavour and tasted just as good as it looks. It’s a thumbs up on the plantain for me.
After the starters we were so confused on what to have next because everything we read sounded like a delight. Mr J went the familiar route and ordered the smoked crab jollof. I on the other hand saw Asaro and jumped like a cat out of a tree at the prospect of yam porridge (I lovveee yam porridge) and ordered the Monkfish, Banga & Citrus Asaro.
Well folks…my dish came and there was neither yam nor porridge on my plate; I nearly shed HOT TEARS. The monkfish also looked like it had been left over from another person’s meal. I was not impressed a single bit; I felt like I had been deceived. Whether the meal tasted nice or not, I could’t tell you! All I know is that it wasn’t Asaro.
After my hot tears had finished, it didn’t taste sooo bad..the fish did have some flavour but the Banga (or whatever those two pieces of thing were) tasted a little weird so I barely took a few bites. The “citrus asaro” (yes that sauce on the side) which was the source of my utmost betrayal was JUST OK. All in all, I wanted my money back for this meal…IKOYI I’ll be waiting for my cheque please!
While I was shedding my hot tears, Mr J was beaming from ear to ear because the jollof rice was BEYOND LIT! I tasted a few forks and best believe I was helping myself to forkfuls in no time. It was so bad that we had to order a second plate!
The rice was smoked to perfection and the crab was a fantastic pairing, like a marriage of ultimate love! It was surprisingly very spicy which I loved, but if you can’t handle spice you may need to brace yourself. The Jollof got a 10/10 from me. My sorrows from the terrible week were definitely forgotten after that meal.
Overall I would say Ikoyi met my expectations. The space is very cosy but also feels ever so slightly cramped; I mean I could write a transcript on the conversations the couples next to us were having. Nonetheless, it was a lovely and vibrant atmosphere in the restaurant. Our waiters were also very pleasant and recommended some good cocktails to us which tasted fabulous.
Food Quality: 3*
Restaurant Atmosphere: 3*
What we had
Buttermilk Plantain & Smoked Scotch Bonnet
Monkfish, Banga & Citrus Asaro
Smoked Crab Jollof Rice X2
Drinks: Guinness Stone Fence, Ikoyi Chapman
Have you been to IKOYI? What was your experience?
Until Next Time,
p.s. Are there restaurants you are itching to try but want a guinea pig to try it out first? I’ll be your guinuea pig, let me know in the comments.