West African food hasn't got the recognition it deserves on London's restaurant scene until relatively recently. However, with brilliant spots such as Kudu, Chuku’s, and the Michelin-starred Ikoyi having all opened in the last few years alone, this cuisine has seen somewhat of a boom in the Capital. It’s safe to say say Chishuru is another very welcome addition to London’s West African party.
Having previously run Chishuru as a supper club, Nigerian-born owner and chef Adejoké ‘Joké’ Bakare won the Brixton Kitchen competition in 2019. Her prize? A first bricks-and-mortar site to showcase her traditional Nigerian food that really packs a punch. The restaurant itself is the opposite of pretentious; the décor is stripped back, a slight chill occasionally creeps in from the street (although the heat from the cooking more than makes up for this), and we did have to wait a little longer than we'd have liked for our food. However, Chishuru’s buzz and fantastic food, as well as Joké’s incredibly personable hosting more than make up for any teething problems.
A neat block of light ekuru started the meal with a bang, coming topped with a punchy pumpkin pesto and served alongside a walloping Scotch bonnet sauce which is delightful in moderation. Meanwhile cassava fritters were almost reminiscent of onion bhajis and were lifted by the tangy lime and coconut sauce.
The goat ayamase main course took the prize for dish of the night however; the gorgeous slow-cooked meat came drenched in a complex, peppery green sauce that grew in heat after every mouthful. Make sure to also order the set of three sides to accompany your main, as it would be a crime to miss out on Joké’s prize Attasi rice, and the candy-like sweetness of the glazed plantain provides a lovely contrast to some of the hotter dishes.
With its prices kept extraordinarily reasonable given the quality of food on offer, giving Chishuru a try is a bit no-brainer. Be warned though, your tongue might still be tingling with spices on your journey back home.