Last month, Iré Hassan-Odukale along with his childhood friend, Jeremy Chan opened up a fine-dining restaurant called IKOYI on Regent Street, London. The Evening Standard referred to IKOYI as the “last jigsaw piece in the £450 million St James’s Market development”. This is clearly a bold move and clear attempt to put Nigerian cuisine on the map. In a few years, we hope to draw the same parallels folks did with Japanese food and Nobu. Watch this space!
Not forgetting his Lagos roots, Iré Hassan-Odukale recently in the FT detailed his Top 5 restaurants in Lagos. Here is a quick summary with additional info on location, opening times and average costs:
Where:12A Akin Olugbade Street, Victoria Island, Lagos
When: 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Average cost for 2: ₦15,000
Why: “Pushing African culinary experience to the next level, NOK by Alara is creating something truly different, using local Nigerian ingredients and flavours. Situated in the affluent area of Victoria Island, the restaurant reflects the cosmopolitan side of Lagos”
What to order: For mains, Ire recommends the Seafood-and-okra stew. For drinks, give the Nigerian Cocktail a try – either the palm wine or the Ogogoro gin, alcoholic “home brews” native to Nigeria.
Where: 9 Maitama Sule Street, Ikoyi, Lagos
When: Monday – Sunday 8:00am – 11:00pm
Average cost for 2: ₦11,000
Why: “Cultural hub with regular jazz and reggae nights, an art centre — The Nimbus Gallery — and a boutique hotel”
What to order: Ire recommends the plantain chips and egg stew for breakfast. In the evening, simple meat and fish dishes also great. Ask for the hot piri piri sauce.
Where: 58A Issac John Street, Ikeja, Lagos
When: Sunday – Thursday 9:00am – 9:00pm; Friday – Saturday 9:00am – 11:00pm
Average cost for 2: ₦12,000
Why: “It’s got the best breakfast/brunch in Lagos…It’s got a homely feel — many a heavy night has been cured here.”
What to order: Ire recommends either full English breakfast, American pancakes or Nigerian yam and eggs
Where: 19B Idejo Street, Victoria Island, Lagos
When: Tuesday – Sunday 12:00pm – 11:30pm; Closed Monday
Average cost for 2: ₦20,000
Why: “Serves up world-class sushi and demonstrates that Lagos’s food scene is giving modern cuisine capitals such as New York, Sydney and London a run for their money”
What to order: Sushi!
Where: 1 Adeola Hopewell, Off Sanusi Fafunwa, Victoria Island, Lagos
When: 11:00am – 12:00am
Average cost for 2: ₦7,500
Why: “It feels like home, and just so happens to be owned by my aunt, so it’s easy to bump into family. It’s real home-cooked food, in a fun, low-key setting”
What to order: Anything on the menu works