Monday, 7 August 2017

Hot off the grill - Ikoyi in Mayfair

Manx Ribs

If you go for one blow-out meal this year, go to Ikoyi, and go soon. It is only a matter of time before Grace Dent or Jay Rayner give it a glowing review by which point the waiting list will quadruple leaving only a small smattering of Monday dinner slots, if you are lucky. 

This was without a doubt the best meal I have had in London all year – no faint praise considering the amount that I eat out. It easily tops the Ninth, Luca and Xu which were all similarly priced and good.

Nigerian Prawn

The menu is just the thing to excite our jaded London taste-buds and packs quite the punch with its smoky, indigenous Nigerian peppercorns, fermented scotch bonnet chillies and gigantic lobster-like prawns. Every dish sings with well-balanced spicing and deep smokiness.


Spice-fiends will rejoice in the Cassava dish and grilled Beef Blade. For those with a more sensitive palate, the Octopus Pepper Soup is sublime – a beautifully tender tentacle with a potent, meaty master-stock that is so good and so complex you’ll wish you had a pint of it just to work out the different notes. The papaya buttermilk dessert is inspired.


The restaurant itself is small, intimate and designed with taste and intelligence. The specially commissioned crockery add to the sense that you are eating works of art without anything being overly fussy or superfluous. The unusual lights that hang from the ceiling cleverly spotlight the food in the middle of the table, a kind nod to those who feel the need to Instagram whatever we eat (guilty!). The service was relaxed whilst retaining a sense of calm efficiency. As a consultant I am always looking for what could be better but this restaurant genuinely left me speechless. 

Expect to Spend: £100-150 for two including a bottle of wine
Cuisine: West African-Inspired, Michelin* style
Good For: Couples and small groups

Ikoyi opened in St James Market on the 11th July. For more details see here