Anddddd we’re back with another modern West African restaurant!!!!
This was AN EXPERIENCE! So, get yourself a cup of whatever you like to drink or some snacks and settle down for the ride friends. It’s gonna be a long (but tasty) one.
A nine course menu, full of familiar ingredients but elevated and fancy-fied. My word of the moment seems to be fancy. For this great flavour adventure, i had a dinning partner! She aspires to be a Michelin starred food critic so i’ll be sharing some of her thoughts as well (beware, she takes this aspiration V V seriously).
No menu is presented when you’re seated. Akoko likes to surprise you with each course (although i’m pretty sure there’a a menu posted outside so…🧐). Think they’re relying on everyone just waltzing in and not nosying around outside first – I did both of these 🤭 and so I did get a sneak peek of the menu.
What you do get when you’re seated is a drinks menu! A selection of cocktails, soft drinks and other beverages. We go for soft drinks/mocktails over here #halallife
I present to you the pineapple tonic. V V yum this drink. We both had 4 each through out the entire meal…. not quite sure if that means the portions were very small or we were there for a really LONG time- I think both.
We start with the “welcome snacks“.
Comes in a set of 3. Starting from the bottom of the picture – Yam croquette with shaved black truffle
I can’t quite remember what the yam croquette tasted like but I do remember my dinning partner LOVING this.
Snack 2 – Fonio, smoked fish and fermented kombu.
I LOVED this. I usually HATE smoked fish in anything but I really enjoyed this. It was creamy, crispy and very savoury. My favourite of the 3.
Snack 3 – Bofrot filled with braised veal cheek.
Bofrot is a doughnut that i’ve become familiar with thanks to Accra traffic. There’s no better pick me up than a freshly fried, soft bofrot as you crawl through the painful packed streets. This one needed more salt.
Course 2 – Gambian Oyster.
Oyster cooked on coals served with Gambian oyster stew and cucumber skin powder. Did somebody say FANCYYY?
Oysters are one of the things that have NEVER tickled my fancy. I can just see myself getting sick after having a raw oyster so I’ve stayed away. I’m very happy that this was my first oyster experience. Creamy, dreamy and a bit sweet, loved the flavours. I will still NOT be trying raw oysters but i’m open to cooked oysters.
Bread – Sunflower and pumpkin seed bread with yassa butter
If it’s not yassa butter, I DON’T WANT IT and you shouldn’t want it either. The best butter I’ve EVER HAD IN MY ENTIRE 23 years on this rotating rock. After my bread roll was finished, did I just eat the butter on its own? I might have 🤭
Course 3 – BBQ octopus with peanut mafe and cacao served with an octopus cracker and scotch bonnet powder.
My favourite mafe/soup/sauce is peanut/groundnut soup. I would eat it everyday if I could so I was very here for this dish. Smoky octopus due to it being barbecued and creamy peanut sauce = a combo that works greatly Think this was my one of my favourite eats from my meal at Akoko.
Course 4 – Slow cooked turbot with calabash nutmeg sauce, charcoal oil, brown caramel sauce and beluga caviar.
Okay this fish was too fishy….. Both my dining partner and I didn’t love this dish so we will be moving on swiftly! On to the next.
Course 5 – smoked Jollof rice (and smoky it was – real party Jollof vibes), carrot terrine served with an Ivorian aubergine sauce.
Is it even a modern West African restaurant if there’s no “jolly rice” on the menu? NOPE.
Obviously not your typical Jollof. Akoko’s had puffed rice 👀
Are you a “jolly rice” purist? If yes, are you offended? or like me, do you not really care as long as it tastes good?
My dining partner was not impressed by the Ivorian aubergine sauce- she says it shouldn’t have looked similar to the maafe (these critics I tell you 🙃). While it did look similar, it didn’t taste similar so I say they get a pass from me.
I liked the veg forward carrot terrine cos you know I aspire to be vegetarian.
Course 6 – King oyster mushroom “suya”
Many times when you try to eat halal you basically end up vegetarian. Obvs this helps with my aspiration of being veggie but mushroom suya? It’s a NO from me. I did not like this AT ALL. BLAND and suya should never be bland. “What do tears taste like? MUSHROOM SUYA 💀” is what my dinning partner had to say as she happily enjoyed her lamb suya 😒. Think a more apt version is “what does sadness taste like?” probably mushroom suya…The yaji on the side also didn’t help the mushroom suya situation either😩 cos it was just spicy – no other flavour. Me and my tastebuds were not pleased.
Course 7 – Oyster mushroom, hispi cabbage and egusi “stew”
Yes! Another shroom dish but this time around IT WAS GREAT. I really loved the egusi here. Not egusi as you know it but egusi nonetheless. The crispy hispi cabbage was a nice textural component too!
Palate cleanser – Baobab mousse with hibiscus syrup and lemon
It does it’s job very well. The flavours SLAP you, I cannot lie. They are SHARP and so cleansing I guess?
Okay, dessert time!!
Course 9 – Caramelised agege bread, grilled pineapple with Iru miso ice cream
I really enjoyed the caramelised agege bread. I couldn’t really taste the iru in the ice cream though, and we know it has a very STRONG and distinct flavour (and smell).
This wasn’t the last sweet!
Bonus sweet 1 – Charcoal passion fruit dark chocolate
Presentation? 10/10 Taste? not for meeeee. Too dark!
Bonus sweet 2 – scotch bonnet fudge
I LOVEEEEED this so much (I ate both 🤭). We all know I have a very low spice tolerance but the scotch bonnet powder on top of fudge that’s usually cloyingly sweet was a perfectly balanced combo. I loved ending the meal with this.
There’s nothing more I love than a tasting menu tbvh. It’s maximum enjoyment and you know I like enjoyment. I will definitely be going back to Akoko for more fancy food. You should go too! Take your West African parents, non West African parents, friends, colleagues, baes or even yourself (we STAN solo dinning over here) to be blown away by the crispy “jolly rice” and scotch bonnet fudge!
See you on the next one,