Address: 9 Market Row, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London, SW9 8LB
Telephone: 079 6000 2150
This is a new restaurant in Market Row serving West African food from Adejoké ‘Joké’ Bakare and the restaurant was opened following her victory in the amateur category at last year’s Brixton Kitchen competition. Even across Nigeria there are many different styles and traditional cuisines – add to that the whole of West Africa and you get lots of different types of seasoning and cooking methods. You can eat in the market corridor or inside with the doors are thrown open so wear a coat wherever you sit. Inside you can watch the preparation, outside it is people watching in the busy thoroughfare.
There is a blessedly short list on the menu with starters, main courses, sides and desserts – just a few in each category. We shared Ekuru as a starter – it’s native to the Yoruba. It is (I think) made of peeled black eyed beans and wild water melon seeds and the paste is then fried. It comes with pumpkin seed pesto and scotch bonnet sauce. This was a soft and crisp start to the meal with delicious pesto, so I hope you haven’t thrown out those pumpkin seeds.
Then came the main courses where we chose one meat, goat ayamase, which came with spiced green sauce and condiments, and one veggie dish – chargrilled cauliflower with peanut sauce and puffed wild rice (although they forgot this little extra when it was served to us). We were advised to order a side of attasi rice, green salad and plantain.
The goat was really soft and didn’t have too many bones to discover. It had a spiciness that crept up on you so that a softee like me only had a runny nose three quarters of the way through.
The cauliflower was well cooked and the spiced green sauce is what it said on the menu – spicy – and the peanut sauce added to the thrill. We didn’t need the puffed rice.
We were delighted with the side dishes. The Atassi rice and beans was really good for soaking up the sauce on both dishes and the plantain with peanut sauce was a perfect foil for the spice in both dishes.
We finished the meal with a dessert to share – peanut butter ice cream with baobab crisps. We immediately dived in so no photo. The salty creaminess of the ice cream went really well with the surprisingly citrus flavoured honeycomb crisps.
We washed it all down with two bottles of Lucky Saint beer and water. The bill for two was £63.00, but this included a tip and money for a food support scheme. They only opened in August and will be hard hit by the current lockdown. Let’s hope they will run a click and collect or delivery service.