Born in Kenya to Indian parents, Ravinder Bhogal's multicultural upbringing is just the start of what makes Jikoni so unique. 'No Borders Kitchen' is the tagline, and the menu takes inspiration from far and wide, honouring the shared flavours and cultures across South Asian and the Far East, as well as the Middle East, East Africa and Britain.
Bhogal's belief is that the combinations created by cooking across borders always result in more delicious food, and Jikoni leans into a family-oriented style of cooking that exists in immigrant families like her own, rather than the classical French style that London's restaurant culture was built on. The prawn toast Scotch egg is a perfect example of that, a melding of two distinct dishes from different sides of the world.
The rest of the menu is equally eclectic. Small plates include Orkney scallop congee with Sichuan chili oil, burrata with beetroot, cashew and curry leaf oil, and roasted celeriac, kimchi salsa and hazelnuts. Alternatively there are larger plates that act as single mains, like a butternut squash moilee with lemon rice, crispy aubergine with Sichuan caramel or the signature fish pie with cod, prawn, spinach and saffron sauce.
Aside from the tempting food, Jikoni is also one of London's prettiest dining rooms, in shades of pastel pink, white and natural wood, with bright patterned tablecloths and lampshades. Cushions are piled along the wood banquettes, and beautiful block printed linens are stacked in a corner. Incidentally, those linens are hand-made and available to buy at the restaurant if you so wish. The intention is that Jikoni should feel like an extension of Bhogal's own kitchen - the dining room is relaxed and comforting, as is the food and the service.