I've relatively recently discovered African food (other than Ethiopian which I've known for a little while now) and am doing my best to try it more. There's been Nigerian, Ghanaian, and Eritrean (similar to Ethiopian). Some of the latest London places have the or more generic West African, and Ikoyi has been on my very expensive list for a while now but not sure if I'll ever get there. Otherwise Chuku's, Chishuru, Sweet Hands and African Kitchen Gallery are all still waiting too.
Akoko was a new arrival, opening up in the shoulder period between lockdowns. The soft opening offered 50% off the full set menu price of £59, a bargain definitely. It did however come with several service mishaps - but I suppose you have to expect that. Our dining colleagues wanted the meal to start at 8pm instead of 7pm (which the restaurant was happy to change), and they turned up around 8.15pm. It gave limited time for the mandatory 10pm shutdown, but the restaurant thought it would be ok.
However in starting later, they suggested we order the normal or vegetarian menu so it could be commenced for their arrival. Unfortunately communication between the staff was non-existent and whereas one suggested that, another we told and look confused, then another came and asked, and another then came after our colleagues arrived to officially take the menu. Drinks (cocktails were not yet served which was disappointing but acceptable) were then asked about 8 times by 4 different people (without exaggeration) in 10 minutes. Of these requests, about 4 of them came AFTER the drinks were already ordered within a 2 minute period. And despite all that, they didn't bring out my friend's drink until being reminded later. Hmmm.
- Isu, truffles - yam topped with truffles cream and shavings. Nice;
- Boli & epa - plantain crisp with peanuts. Not that sweet for plantains (more starchy than sweet) and heavy peanut coating overpowered any other flavours;
- Veal cheeks bofrot - veal cheek meat in a fried casing. They said there were vegetables inside too but couldn't really tell. It was served on top of some kind of inedible black pulse;
- Miyan taushe, crab - pumpkin soup with little crab bits at the bottom was quite good. Guinness bread was very spongy with a rind crust and really excellent. Butter very soft could have used a little seasoning. The shoehorn device to spread the butter was fun too;
- Smoked jollof rice & goat - I was very much looking forward to this dish and the very nicely seasoned goat was tender and slightly spicy. Jollof looked good but not seasoned and overall a bit disappointing. Garlic flowers and leaves topped the dish and were full of flavour. I suppose maybe the rice blandness was to balance the other ingredients, but I hoped for more.
- BBQ quail yassa - a tender half quail and ridiculously tasty and flavoursome. Possibly the best I've had (my only comparison being Chinese or Vietnamese restaurants). My only gripe was the quails were different sizes for each serve (and I got the smallest one!);
- Burnt uda cream, Ghanaian cocoa butter, goat milk icecream - mild goat milk icecream was very nice. It sat in a sweet boat of cream. I expected some tartness (not entirely sure why) but there was none.
If I assume that the service improves to standard professional level, I don't think I would go back for the full priced menu. I did like some of the dishes, but others seemed to lack. Maybe I need to try the others first to compare. Or alternatively if they offered a la carte, then I could pick the dishes that worked for me.