Nigerian-born chef Adejoké ‘Joké’ Bakare’s Chishuru neatly explores contemporary West African food with a foundation of age-old recipes and techniques. Joké originally established Chishuru as a supper club, intent on highlighting the lesser-known dishes in West African cuisine.
The opportunity to open her first stand-alone restaurant came off the back of winning the amateur category in 2019’s Brixton Kitchen competition. Inspired by the dishes of her homeland, Joké beat off stiff competition to impress Brixton Kitchen’s esteemed judging panel, which included chefs Jackson Boxer and James Cochran, as well as acclaimed baker and Violet Cakes founder Claire Ptak.
With Chishuru, Joké utilises modern cooking techniques 'to preserve the heart of her region’s food'. The restaurant’s set menu changes regularly and features an array of contemporary West African dishes inspired by Joké’s heritage, combining British and West African produce, much of it sourced from Brixton's bustling Market Row.
As with all units inside Brixton Village, Chishuru is limited in terms of space, with just five or six tables located in the restaurant and another two nestled on the outside walkway - approximately 25 covers in total. The interior design is somewhat bare, but compensated for by the warming terracotta colour scheme. An open kitchen at the back, meanwhile, gives a good view of the small brigade at work, and often allows for the smoky smells of slow-cooked goat shoulder to waft invitingly through the dining room.
London’s West African dining scene has grown in strength in recent years. In Fitzrovia, Aji Akokomi’s Akoko is offering a ‘progressive and elevated’ take on West African cuisine; while in Tottenham, siblings Ifeyinwa and Emeka Frederick have made waves with their socially-driven Nigerian tapas restaurant Chuku’s. With Chishuru, Joké is making her own mark on this enriched landscape.