London’s hottest black-owned restaurants
It has long been established that opening a restaurant as a Black restaurateur in London is notoriously difficult. More representation of the restaurants that already exist in the capital has meant that others with similar ambitions have been able to trace ways in which they can break through themselves. And as our culinary education and curiosity continues to evolve, it’s exciting to discover more and more Black-owned restaurants. For some, Ikoyi and Akoko are a reference point, while for others it’s the local roti or suya spot around the corner. We’ve rounded up a few of the most recent additions that we believe are either on the brink of greatness or are already hot right now.
It’s not hard to see why Chishuru, the small restaurant in Brixton’s buzzing Market Row, is so well loved. Owner Adejoké Bakare is a phenomenal chef and somebody whose hospitality seems so effortless. The restaurant is a contemporary Nigerian offering, but Bakare’s profound knowledge and respect for West African cooking traditions shines through in each dish. Chishuru serves an ever-changing tasting menu that surprises on every visit. Google the restaurant and you will find reams and reams of applause and mouthwatering reviews from London’s top critics, who are completely won over by the flavours, execution and joy that Bakare brings to this small but mighty restaurant in Brixton.
To book a table at Chishuru, 9 Market Row, Coldharbour Lane, London SW9 8LB, call 020 3915 1198 or visit their website here.
Not yet in a permanent space, but the host of regular pop-ups, is Little Baobab. The pop-up and private catering outfit is all about sharing Senegalese culture with Londoners. Chef Khadim Mbamba is carving out space for this cuisine through his supper clubs, which bring together food, fresh juices and live music performances from the country’s talent. Amongst the line-up of great dishes is thieboudienne, the Senegalese variation of jollof rice, which is cooked with vegetables and maafe, a peanut stew. Their next event is Newington Green Meets Senegal on Sunday 18th September.
For further information about Little Baobab and upcoming events visit their website here.
Tatale at the Africa Centre by Akwasi Brenya-Mensa
Perhaps one of the most anticipated openings of 2022, Tatale, a concept created by curator Akwasi Brenya-Mensa, serves a contemporary Pan-African menu that tells stories through food, art and culture. Tucked away on Great Suffolk Street, just minutes away from The Cut’s buzzing restaurants and theatres, the concept takes its name from the plantain pancake, tatale – a quintessential Ghanaian dish – and is named according to Brenya-Mensa’s belief that wherever you are in the world, plantain is synonymous with the Black experience. On the menu, expect a selection of small “chops” such as Chichinga Buttermilk Fried Chicken Wings with Kewpie and what has come to be known as Brenya-Mensa’s most recognised dish, Omo Tuo, Nkatenkwan, Sesame, Parsley. Dining at Tatale also gives you a chance to have a look around the Africa Centre itself, an iconic charity that, since 1964, has been a hub for art, music, culture, politics and African food, as well as being immortalised by Soul II Soul whose Sunday nights became legendary. Check out their website to find out about current exhibitions and events.
To book a table at Tatale, 66 Great Suffolk Street, London SE1 0BL, visit their website here.
Prince of Peckham
A homey atmosphere with Caribbean bites, a cosy rooftop and a karaoke room with regular events is what makes this pub a neighbourhood favourite. Owner Clement Ogbonnaya, who grew up in Peckham, has made a concerted effort to take a community-first approach. The menu offers pub classics but with a Caribbean twist, including dishes from crispy okra to their signature jerk chicken, served on a toasted brioche bun with coleslaw. Ogbonnaya has recently announced that he will be opening a second pub in Tulse Hill – the Queen of the South – which coincides with the creation of his inclusively pub group, The Village People. The plan is to grow the portfolio of this pub group and take over old and disused pubs that were once pillars of their community, breathe new life into them, and lay the foundations for a new community hub for future generations.
To book a table at Prince of Peckham, 1 Clayton Road, London SE15 5JA, call 020 7635 8844 or visit their website here.
Black-owned, family run, female-led – Saint Aymes is a triple threat. Located in Connaught Village, the Instagrammable café and confectioner is named after the Bajan grandfather of sisters Lois and Michela Wilson. Taking inspiration from the flora of Barbados, where their grandparents hailed from, they have created a welcome reminder that we should appreciate beauty at every opportunity, especially when we live in a concrete jungle like the city of London. Quickly becoming known as the prettiest cafe in London, expect cutesy menu items like 24ct gold milkshakes, high tea with a strong pink theme, and champagne flutes topped with pink candy floss. After the success of their flagship London location, the sisters are shortly launching in the USA.
To book a table at Saint Aymes, 59 Connaught Street, London W2 2B, call 020 7262 1185 or visit their website here.
The Baruru Supper Club
Last year Keshia Sakarah launched Baruru, a series of supper clubs that explore Caribbean culture through food. Sakarah formerly ran Caribe’ at Pop Brixton, and, while she may be awaiting a bricks-and-mortar site at the moment, this new venture continues her journey through Caribbean culture. Baruru, the indigenous word for plantain (named by the Kalinago people, who originally inhabited the islands) gives an idea of what to expect at these events. Hosted with historian Renee Landell, the evenings celebrate the Caribbean, touching upon the vast region’s complex history and nuanced culture. With contributions from Amerindians, Africans, Europeans and Asians, the menu that Keshia creates tells a story that spans centuries. Keep an eye on their Instagram page for the next supper club and travel to Dominica, St. Lucia, Guyana and Cuba, where you can taste the influences of Polynesia, the migration of indentured Chinese workers, and the Spanish.
For further information about Baruru Supper Club visit their website here.