Ikoyi, a London-based restaurant has become the first in the United Kingdom to be awarded the prestigious ‘One To Watch Award’ by the World 50 Best Restaurants.
Serving African-inspired food, the restaurant is named after a district of Lagos and was co-founded by childhood friends Jeremy Chan and Iré Hassan-Odukale in 2017.
According to Daily Mail, Ikoyi Restaurant became first UK restaurant to win the prestigious award.
The American Express One to Watch Award recognises a restaurant considered to be a rising star on the global dining scene and aims to recognise and celebrate gastronomic excellence and innovation.
“Since opening in 2017, Ikoyi has distinguished itself for its bold use of flavour, introducing new and original ingredient combinations and presenting them with indefinable style,” the foreign media outfit reported.
Chan and Hassan-Odukale have made it their mission to source superlative local produce and serve it in its optimal state. They use micro-seasonality and British ingredients to cook West African inspired dishes. Their menu includes the likes of Plantain Caramelised in Ginger & Kelp, Smoked Jollof Rice, and Poppy Seed Waffle, Truffled Aged Beef & N25 Caviar.
The foundation of their dishes is a vast collection of global spices with a focus on sub-Saharan West Africa, which have been meticulously sourced over the past few years, resulting in menus which surprise the senses with a balance of heat and umami.
The restaurant is situated in the heart of St James’s Market, two minutes’ walk from London’s famous Piccadilly Circus.
Director of Content for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, William Drew said: ‘At Ikoyi, Jeremy and Iré have created that rare thing in the restaurant world: an experience that defies characterisation. 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.”
Also, Chef Jeremy Chan said: “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.”
“American Express and Resy have been fans of Ikoyi since it opened and are proud to count it as a valued restaurant partner,” the Vice President of American Express Dining Access & Benefits, Hannah Kelly said.
“This award underscores its excellence and we join The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in recognising Ikoyi as an international culinary destination.”