Jeremy Chan and Iré Hassan-Odukale run what can now be considered one of the capital’s most distinctive places to eat
Jeremy Chan and his Nigerian-born friend and business partner Iré Hassan-Odukale launched Ikoyi in the summer of 2017 just south of Piccadilly Circus.
Though it is named after a district in the Nigerian city Lagos, the dishes here aren’t re-imaginings of those of West Africa, although, rather confusingly, some do reference well known dishes including jollof rice, the barbecue dish beef suya and the vegetable soup efo.
West African influences and ingredients are rolled in with Chan and Hassan-Odukale’s food memories to create – as Chan puts it – “moments of heightened beauty reformulated for others to experience”. It’s esoteric stuff, then. But against all the odds Chan’s cerebral dishes, which focus on flavours many will have never experienced, somehow translate into dishes as accessible as they are delicious.
His dish of plantain, smoked scotch bonnet and raspberry is a case in point: two slices of fried plantain are dusted with a bright red powder and served alongside a small dollop of chilli-spiked mayonnaise. It leaves quite an impression, as do all the other dishes on Ikoyi’s £65 tasting menu. Other must-try dishes include a take on fried chicken that sees a carefully brined, spiced and fried slice of chicken breast coated with a chicken glaze prepared with isot-biber chillies and served with steamed, pickled and blowtorched Roscoff onions.
Ikoyi has a central yet somehow out-of-the-way location just south of Piccadilly, in a space that’s so tiny the wine has to be stored underneath specially engineered banquettes.