Ikoyi is a rising star on the global dining scene

Ikoyi in London, co-fownded by the two childhood friends Jeremy Chan and Iré Hassan-Odukale, was awarded with the American "Express One To Watch", an award that recognises restaurants considered to be rising stars on an international level.

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. Chan and Hassan-Odukale have made it their mission to source superlative local produce and serve it in its optimal state. 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.

Ikoyi is a cosmopolitan and contemporary restaurant in constant evolution, and the home of the unique cuisine from co-founders, Chef Jeremy Chan and Restaurant Director Iré Hassan-Odukale. With strong bold dishes that celebrate the finest, hyper-seasonal British produce combined with an extensive

global storecupboard of ingredients - including a myriad use of spices and fermentations - menus are a contrast of elegance and balance, married with the fearless enjoyment of the taste and flavours of the season. The complexity of the cuisine is celebrated in a small but concisely formed wine list with a selection of carefully chosen varietals that match the intricate balance of dishes. Ikoyi is situated in the heart of St James’s Market, two minutes walk from London’s famous Piccadilly Circus. The comfortable, calm interiors are based on a natural colour pallet of soft browns and ochre, with bespoke ceramics and glassware. Service is relaxed, approachable and attentive, creating a warm and friendly atmosphere.

A chance conversation with friend and now-business partner Hassan-Odukale ignited a spark around the possibilities of African-inspired food. A period of intensive research ensued and what emerged was a series of new dishes with unique flavour profiles and a desire to forge a fresh culinary narrative. Nigerian-born Iré Hassan-Odukale left a corporate background in insurance to co-launch Ikoyi. They both liked the abstract quality of the name, as it represented the starting point of a cuisine totally unique to themselves.

The award seeks to recognise and celebrate outstanding emerging culinary talent and fresh experiences. Previous winners have included Lido 84, from Gardone Riviera, Ital, in 2019; SingleThread, California, US in 2018; Disfrutar, Barcelona, Spain in 2017 and Den, Tokyo, Japan in 2016.