Fitzrovia, London

A Fitzrovia restaurant that promises to take diners on a culinary journey through West African cuisine


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Akoko, which translates as ‘time’ and also ’the first’ in Yoruba, a language spoken in west Africa, takes inspiration from the family recipes and travels of British Nigerian restaurateur Aji Akokomi.

Akokomi’s ambitious restaurant pays homage to the country’s culinary heritage through traditional cooking techniques such as smoking, curing and fermenting, with the intention of showcasing a style of cuisine with which many will be unfamiliar.

Diners put themselves in the hands of Akokomi and executive chef Theo Clench with Akoko serving only multi-course tasting menus in order to have full control of the culinary journey they want diners to take. Menu staples include Guinness bread with yassa butter; and maafe – a dish of Galician octopus with peanut and cacao; as well as its signature jollof rice, its unique take on the dish that earned the coastal area of western Africa the name ‘the grain coast’.

There’s more to Akoko than the food alone: the entire restaurant experience has been curated to give an expression of west Africa. Its interiors, inspired by the natural beauty of rural West Africa, feature walls covered in terracotta clay and contemporary African art while every dish is served in a bespoke piece of handmade crockery and the dining room. It’s smart, relaxing and immersive.

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