The award recognises a ‘restaurant considered a rising star on an international level’ with previous winners including Lido 84 in Italy, SingleThread in California, and Disfrutar in Spain.
Ikoyi was launched by school friends Jeremy Chan and Iré Hassan-Odukale in 2017 and has, according to 50 Best, ‘distinguished itself with its bold use of flavour, introducing new and original ingredient combinations and presenting them with indefinable style.’
Chan’s menu makes use of top quality UK produce as well as spices sourced from further afield with a focus on sub-Saharan West Africa resulting in menus ‘which surprise the senses with a balance of heat and umami’.
“At Ikoyi, Jeremy and Iré have created that rare thing in the restaurant world: an experience that defies characterisation,” says William Drew, director of content for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
“It is one of the most exciting restaurants to have opened in recent years, with an impressive commitment to flavour and produce. We are delighted to name Ikoyi as the winner of the American Express One to Watch Award 2021.”
The restaurant is situated in St James’s Market just south of Piccadilly Circus.
Chan and Hassan-Odukale - who oversees the dining room as restaurant director - will be presented with the trophy at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021 awards ceremony in Antwerp, Belgium on 5 October.
“We are extremely humbled by the recognition on the global stage and proud of our small, hard-working team. We are also grateful to our producers without whom this success would not be possible,” says Chan.