West African restaurant Akoko to open in Fitzrovia

Following on from the success of Ikoyi in Piccadilly, London’s Fitzrovia is to get a new West African restaurant this October called Akoko, run by William JM Chilila.

Akoko in Fitzrovia is the debut solo venture of William JM Chilila

Located on Berners Street, Akoko, which means ‘time’ in Yoruba, will offer an innovative menu combining British ingredients and West African spices.

The menu will include popular West African classics like smoked jollof rice, and grilled beef suya with caramelised onion and confit tomato, alongside more innovative dishes like barbecued baby aubergine maafe and smoked goat consommé.

The wine list meanwhile, will be curated by sommelier Honey Spencer’s new consultancy, Spencer & Smelskaya.

Having previously worked at Galvin at Windows, The Montagu at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, The Langham and Orrery, Akoko is Chilila’s first solo project.

He was a finalist on last year’s Masterchef: The Professionals and was the youngest ever chef to be included in the ‘30 under 30’ Zagat list at the age of 19.

Inspired by West Africa, the interiors, created by René Dekker Design, will feature terracotta walls, contemporary African art by Niyi Olagunju and bespoke ceramics.

Ikoyi in Piccadilly was one of the first venues in London to champion contemporary West African cuisine with a twist.

Run by Iré Hassan-Odukale and Jeremy Chan, the venue scooped a Michelin star last year, a year after opening.

Their aim is to put West African ingredients and flavours in the fine dining sphere. Among the signature dishes are fried plantain with raspberry salt an smoked scotch bonnet; mushroom suya, chicken efo, and crab jollof rice.

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