The Michelin-starred St James’s restaurant will continue to focus on high-quality seasonal British produce coupled with bold spicing and umami-rich flavours but will drop its tasting menu in favour of a regularly changing ‘compact’ menu comprised of around 15 dishes with ‘more emphasis given to comfort and familiarity’.
The re-imagined menu features some classic Ikoyi dishes - monkfish stew with saffron and pepper velouté, beef rib suya, and Jollof rice - with new dishes including half a fried Landes chicken with aged beef fat and hot sauce, and plantain caramelised in ginger and kombu.
Ikoyi’s initial new opening hours will be for dinner only, from Tuesday to Saturday from 17.30, with last orders at 21.30. Delivery and pick-up service will be available Tuesday to Sunday 17.30 to 21.30.
As well as following guidelines on social distancing and handwashing, all team members will have their temperatures logged daily and will wear masks during preparation, set-up and service.
In addition to the available hand-sanitiser and as a courtesy to others, guests will be provided with a mask, which they will be asked to wear when moving around the restaurant.
“Reopening after the lockdown, meant we had to rethink how we could work practically, while still offering our guests the very best experience they have come to expect at Ikoyi,” Chan and Hassan explain.
“With these extra measures we hope everyone feels comfortable, secure and relaxed when they spend time with us. Thankfully we are now in a position to look forward and are excited to get going with our new look menu and welcome our guests back.”
The influential restaurant is also celebrating its third birthday this Sunday (19 July).
Former Dinner by Heston chef Chan and his Nigerian-born friend and business partner Iré Hassan-Odukale launched Ikoyi in the summer of 2017 just south of Piccadilly Circus.
Though it is named after a district in the Nigerian city Lagos, the dishes at Ikoyi aren’t re-imaginings of those of west Africa, although – rather confusingly – some do reference well-known dishes including jollof rice, the barbecue dish beef suya and the vegetable soup efo.
West African influences and ingredients are rolled in with Chan and Hassan-Odukale’s food memories to create – as Chan puts it – “moments of heightened beauty reformulated for others to experience”.
The restaurant is currently listed on Restaurant magazine’s list of the top 100 places to eat in the UK and was awarded a Michelin-star a year or so after it opened its doors.
The latter is an especially significant accolade for Ikoyi as it is arguably the only starred restaurant in the world that truly champions indigenous African ingredients, a continent that is famously under-represented and undervalued when it comes to gastronomy.