Jikoni

My interest in food has led me down some strange roads these past few years.

Most notably, I have a greater need for exercise now.

But I’ve also eaten in some amazing countries, and I find myself with a vastly improved culinary repertoire. There are so many restaurants out there vying for our attention, and yet truly impressive ones are a rare find.

I suppose this is why I was so shocked to find such a stunning restaurant on my doorstep.

Well… I don’t know if I can consider London on my doorstep, a mere 400 miles from Glasgow…

But after all my travels and eating away from home, I have to say I was genuinely impressed by Jikoni.

20226455_1615456311859850_1937453283_o
Enjoying the summer at Jikoni’s – a calming break from busy London…

The idea of a ‘fusion’ restaurant used to excite me, but to be honest I stopped caring about them for a while. They’ve been created and recreated over and over – there are only so many times I can eat food while being continually assured its “a new take on an old favourite” before I’m bored to an early grave.
Is it too much to ask for a little originality?

But here is Jikoni, a modest display of creative dishes. I won’t lie, I was slightly sceptical at first, but the dishes were truly wonderful, paired with incredible aesthetics and a shining staff.

So, if you’re near London and crave a break from the usual, I have just the place for you. With a gentle ambience, exquisite tastes and an originality I’ve been sorely missing, Jikoni is a rare beauty this world truly needs.

20615351_1615456425193172_1817622097_o
Just one of Jikoni’s charms – others included framed origami specially designed for Ravinder, lamp shades made from old sarees & handwoven bowls donated from a relative in Kenya

My Experience

The London-based restaurant, which will celebrate its first birthday in September this year, was conceived by the award-winning Ravinder Bhogal. A food writer, TV presenter and chef, Ravinder is no stranger to the culinary world which she proves in her dishes.

She has decorated her restaurant with interesting features and trinkets, each with a personal story. Most of the interior is centred around her cultural heritage and family. It is extremely refreshing to see such a personal touch in a restaurant, especially when executed so tastefully.

This was reflected in her cooking…

Starters

To start, we ordered a mixture of the small plates and Kazuri – Swahili for small and beautiful. From the small plates we enjoyed Kimchi Royals, a delicious take on Patatas Bravas which, while delicious, used flavours I would never usually attribute to Bravas.

20536052_1615456341859847_506333253_o
Deliciously topped with crackers and seeds…

And from the Kazuri we were presented with 3 dishes: the Pondicherry Prawn Puffs, Beetroot and Shanklish Croquettes, and Franca’s Chickpea Chips. Shanklish, we later found out, is an amazing cheese native to Syria and Lebanon, which paired well with the beetroot. The chickpea chips were especially surprising. Served with Bengali Tomato Chutney, I finished these far too quickly…

20590823_1615456295193185_590486634_o
Pondicherry Prawn Puffs, Chickpea Chips, Tomato Chutney and Beetroot/Shanklish Croquettes…

We were almost too full for our Mains.

Almost.

 

Mains

I opted for the Mutton Keema Sloppy Joe, while my cousin chose the Duck Leg Rendang.

Now while I had a small taste of the duck, I can’t comment much. My cousin looked as happy as I was though and the little I tasted was incredible.

And the burger?

20590769_1615456361859845_1038824526_o

On the side, padron peppers. Now, while I don’t mind these, I never actually order them from lack of interest. But these had been fried in light batter and seasoned – something I had never had before. The Sloppy Joe itself was filled with more than the meat. Hidden from sight were the pickled onion, bright purple and spiralized, and the sweet, sweet mango chutney.

A single bite and my taste buds exploded. The flavours of the meat oozed out in its juices, accompanied by the sweetness of the chutney and the sourness of the onion.

Surpassing all expectations. With flying colours.

I was definitely an advocate for Jikoni at this point. Nothing could deter me and I thought I was as satisfied as I could be.

And then dessert arrived.

 

Dessert

20614204_1615456285193186_1898365937_n
So pretty the man beside me asked what it was and ordered it as well…

Turkish Delight & Summer Berry Semifreddo. When I ordered it, I had no idea it would be topped. With. Candy. Floss.

Pashmak, an Iranian candy Floss.

Which was also topped with pistachios and rose petals.

It was creamy, light, subtly flavoured with rose and berries; basically everything I would possibly want in the hot summer.

In my infatuation I completely forgot to photograph my cousin’s dessert.

Banana Cake, I think.

My mistake. But in my defence, the Semifreddo was outstanding.

20615197_1615456415193173_909977545_o

To finish, we enjoyed some chai to help us unwind. A relaxing end to our day.

 

Jikoni’s is unbelievably imaginative. It dares to be both bold and subtle, a unique advantage in the growing age of flamboyant dining.

Ravinder’s creativity with food has allowed her to breach barriers other ‘fusion restaurants’ have ignored; this, combined with her experimentation into other Middle Eastern dishes, gives Jikoni an originality the world is truly missing.

20597585_1615456338526514_1007727659_o
The extremely talented chefs behind our meals…
20590473_1615456298526518_1938248588_o
Priya, Jikoni’s mascot you can find hidden in the walls every so often…

 

VelvetSpice

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s