Ikoyi & I Go Chop Review.
I had seen a lot of hype around both restaurants on social media and on the news. I was particularly excited to visit “Ikoyi”, named after the high brow area in Lagos, I was excited to see what the restaurant had to offer in terms of fine dining especially as it is located in the heart of central London. It is Londons first high end Nigerian restaurant.
More recently I started seeing pictures of the burritos from the takeaway “I Go Chop”. I thought it looked very interesting and unique, seeing as I had never tried a burrito before. Thought the idea was so clever. Nonetheless I was excited and impressed to see Nigerian cuisine being taken to a different level, especially by Nigerians in the Diaspora.
This review will be split into 2 parts. So you can scroll down for the 2nd part if you’d like to see that first
1 St James’s Market, St. James’s, London SW1Y 4AH
Most of us have been to sit down Nigerian restaurants before and typically we know what to expect, from mean waiters to an hour wait for the food, however the experience at Ikoyi was different. For one the location makes it stand out. It is very central and easy to locate as it is just 3 minutes away from Piccadilly Circus station. I loved the outside of the restaurant and the cool logo. As soon as I walked in I was pleasantly surprised by how full it was, there were lots of different people, not just Africans, sitting down enjoying their meals.
The customer service was good, not too long after being seated the waiters came to take our orders. They were polite and efficient.
The menu was a little limited however I am aware the restaurant just opened and I believe in time the menu may be extended. The prices of the meals didn’t catch me off guard which was a good thing. I didn’t feel like anything was ridiculously expensive. The twist on the Nigerian meals were very clear to see for example “Banga bisque” and “Asun Relish”. I think the names are interesting and well thought out.
For my snack I ordered the buttermilk plantain and smoked scotch bonnet. As soon as I tasted it I was shocked by how flavoursome it was. It was literally bursting with flavour and SPICE. The plantain was so spicy it almost blew my head off and I eat a lot of pepper. I championed it without drinking water till the very end but I was surprised by the level of spice. It was hot but delicious.
For the first course I had the Manx Laughton Rib & Asun Relish. It was also good, the meat was tender however I felt like I should’ve ordered it along side my rice as that didn’t come with any meat.
I didn’t order under the main course section of the menu, instead I decided to order from rice and vegetables. I ordered the Jollof rice and bone marrow.
Once again I was surprised about how flavoursome the Jollof rice was. I’ve never tasted any Jollof rice like it, it had a very distinct taste. It was different but enjoyable. I didn’t understand the bone marrow part though. Whilst we were served the waiter told us to scoop the inside of the bone marrow and mix it with the rice. It was just fat. I didn’t understand why it was there it was just chilling, didn’t serve much purpose to the meal, but the rice overall was really good. Although I am easily impressed. The portion sizes were pretty small and I wasn’t full when I left however if I had ordered a main course it may have been different.
Overall it is a good take on a Nigerian food with a twist, it’s quite affordable but I’d recommend a budget of £35 minimum per person. The presentation and customer service was great and I would definitely go again. I would order differently though so I’d be full.
I GO CHOP
46 Camberwell Church St, Camberwell, London SE5 8QZ
After a long rainy night out after a wedding with some of my friends we were recommended to visit “I Go Chop” so we all decided to go. It was 3am in the morning and it was cool that they were still open at that time. Perfect for when you want to grab something to eat after a night out. I had previously made plans twice with 2 other friends to check it out in the coming weeks, but I was still excited to go first hand.
When we got in it was a cool and fun space, some other customers were vybsing to music, enjoying their food. It’s more a takeaway and a quick sit down spot rather than a full fine dining experience.
I was recommended the Oga Burrito so I got that, with Jollof rice, plantain, beef minus the beans. There were so many other options to choose from but I didn’t have my glasses on so I was blind as a bat.
Here are the other options. They have other dishes but their Burritos seem to be popular and go down very well!
The Burrito I had was so delicious. The Jollof, beef and plantain, you could tell would’ve tasted good on its own and even better all together in the wrap. There is the option of having gizzard and plantain as well as yam porridge inside it. It was so good that I had to save some to enjoy the morning after. The Burritos range from £3.50 to £5.00 which is extremely affordable and good value for money. They also offer slush puppies and I bought one too.
Overall the food is definitely great and good value for money, especially if you’re looking to grab some quick food whilst on the go. It’s affordable all round and you don’t have to go bursting your pocket for some delicious food. I love the concept as it is almost like Nigerian food in a fast food style. I also loved the layout of the shop and the board that updates you on Nigerian Pidgin English. I will be going back this week to try again and I look forward to it.
I thoroughly recommend both restaurants for you all to try out and judge for yourselves. Hopefully you won’t disappointed.