Ikoyi, London, UK
1 St James’s Market
- Thea Lovstad
West African cuisine is having its moment in London, thanks to Ikoyi at St James’s Market. Named after a cosmopolitan neighbourhood in Lagos, the restaurant’s vibrant, eclectic menu includes wild Nigerian tiger prawn with Banga bisque; lamb rib with asun relish; and jollof rice with smoked bone marrow. Subtle new Nordic references abound – the caviar is marinated in roasted kelp oil, and dishware is by Danish ceramicists KH Würtz – reflecting head chef and co-owner Jeremy Chan’s previous stint at Noma.
Local firm Studio Ashby has populated the street-level space with bespoke elm tables, modernist seating, earthenware pendant lights, and an ochre banquette, while striking black-and-white terrazzo underfoot. The result is an intimate, contemporary space, best admired from the six-seat bar while sipping an African-inflected cocktail designed by Max and Noel Venning, the brains behind London drinking den, Three Sheets.