London’s trendiest black-owned restaurants
September 12, 2022
It has long been known that opening a restaurant as a black restaurateur in London is notoriously difficult. Greater representation of the restaurants already existing in the capital has meant that others with similar ambitions have been able to find ways to establish themselves. And as our culinary literacy and curiosity continues to evolve, it’s exciting to discover more and more Black-owned restaurants. For some, Ikoyi and Akoko are a point of reference, while for others it’s the local roti or suya spot around the corner. We’ve rounded up some of the latest arrivals that we think are either on the verge of greatness or are already hot.
It’s not hard to see why Chishuru, the small restaurant on Brixton’s bustling Market Row, is so popular. Owner Adejoké Bakare is a phenomenal chef and someone whose hospitality seems so effortless. The restaurant is a contemporary Nigerian offering, but Bakare’s deep knowledge and respect for West African cooking traditions shine through in every dish. Chishuru serves an ever-changing tasting menu that surprises with every visit. Google the restaurant and you’ll find plentiful applause and mouth-watering reviews from London’s top critics who are completely won over by the flavours, execution and joy Bakare brings to this small but mighty Brixton restaurant.
To reserve a table at Chishuru, 9 Market Row, Coldharbour Lane, London SW9 8LB, call 020 3915 1198 or visit the website here.
Small baobab tree
Not in a permanent space yet, but the host of regular pop-ups, is Little Baobab. The pop-up, privately catered outfit is all about sharing Senegalese culture with Londoners. Chef Khadim Mbamba gives space to this cuisine through his supper clubs, which bring together food, fresh juices and live music performances from the country’s talent. Great dishes include thieboudienne, the Senegalese take on jollof rice cooked with vegetables and maafe, a peanut stew. Their next event is Newington Green Meets Senegal on Sunday 18th September.
More information about Little Baobab and upcoming events can be found here.
Tatale in the Akwasi Brenya-Mensa Africa Center
Perhaps one of the most anticipated openings of 2022, Tatale, a concept designed 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 from The Cut’s lively restaurants and theaters, the concept takes its name from the plantain pancake, tatale – a typically Ghanaian dish – and is named after Brenya-Mensa’s belief that where wherever you are in the world, Plantain is synonymous with the Black experience. The menu features a selection of small chops such as Chichinga Buttermilk Fried Chicken Wings with Kewpie and Brenya-Mensa’s most iconic dish, Omo Tuo, Nkatenkwan, Sesame, Parsley. Dining at the Tatale also gives you the chance to look around for yourself at the Africa Center, a legendary charity that has been a center for arts, music, culture, politics and African food since 1964 and has been immortalized by Soul II Soul, whose Sunday night became legendary. Find out more about current exhibitions and events on the website.
To reserve a table at Tatale, 66 Great Suffolk Street, London SE1 0BL visit the website here.
Prince of Peckham
A homey vibe with Caribbean bites, a cozy rooftop terrace, and a karaoke room with regular events make this pub a popular neighborhood spot. Owner Clement Ogbonnaya, who grew up in Peckham, has made a concerted effort to adopt a community-centric approach. The menu offers pub classics with a Caribbean twist, including dishes from crispy okra to the signature jerk chicken, served on a toasted brioche bun with coleslaw. Ogbonnaya recently announced he will be opening a second pub in Tulse Hill – the Queen of the South – to coincide with the launch of his inclusive pub group, The Village People. The plan is to expand this pub group’s portfolio and take over old and disused pubs that were once pillars of their community, breathe new life into them and lay the foundation for a new community center for future generations.
To reserve a table at Prince of Peckham, 1 Clayton Road, London SE15 5JA, call 020 7635 8844 or visit the website here.
Black-run, family-run, women-run — Saint Aymes is a triple threat. Located in Connaught Village, the Instagrammable café and pastry shop is named after sisters Lois and Michela Wilson’s Bajan grandfather. Inspired by the flora of Barbados, where their grandparents came from, they have created a welcome reminder that we should appreciate beauty on every occasion, especially when we live in a concrete jungle like the city of London. Quickly becoming known as the prettiest cafe in London, expect cute menu items like 24k gold milkshakes, high tea with a strong pink theme, and champagne flutes with pink cotton candy. Following the success of their flagship London location, the sisters are about to launch in the US.
To book a table at Saint Aymes, 59 Connaught Street, London W2 2B call 020 7262 1185 or visit the website here.
The Baruru Supper Club
Last year, Keshia launched Sakarah Baruru, a series of supper clubs that explore Caribbean culture through food. Sakarah used to run Caribe’ in Pop Brixton, and while she may be waiting for a brick-and-mortar location for now, this new venture continues her journey through Caribbean culture. Baruru, the indigenous word for buckhorn (named after the Kalinago people who originally inhabited the islands), gives an idea of what to expect at these events. Presented by historian Renee Landell, the evenings celebrate the Caribbean and touch on the vast region’s complex history and nuanced culture. With contributions from Native Americans, Africans, Europeans and Asians, the menu 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 Polynesian influences, the migration of indentured Chinese workers and the Spanish.
More information about the Baruru Supper Club can be found here.