Aji Akokomi opens Akara in Borough Yards

Aji Akokomi, owner of fine dining West African restaurant Akoko in Fitzrovia, has opened a new branch in the heart of Borough Yards. 

Bearing the name of the black-eyed bean fritter (the akara), the 40-cover restaurant champions the traditional flavours of West Africa.

The à la carte menu kicks off with crispy savoury akara fritters, bursting with fillings such as BBQ tiger prawn (£7), seared hand-dived Orkney scallop (£8), braised ox cheek (£7) and BBQ wild mushroom (£6). For mains, the restaurant serves a selection of barbecued meat, fish and vegetable plates, mostly designed for sharing. An ex-dairy sirloin steak suya is served with charred Roscoff onion and sweet pepper sauce (£32), a Lagos chicken (BBQ poussin) comes with glazed carrot and Senegalese hot sauce (£19), and a grilled pollock is served with sweet caramelised onion and yassa lemon sauce (£14).

Side dishes are no afterthought, with Efik chicken broth coconut rice (£14); Efik-style coconut, ginger and garlic rice with roasted carrot (£14); and plantain served with grilled octopus and pepper relish (£8) available. Sweets are kept simple with just one option on the menu: caramelised pineapple, coconut and lemon ice cream (£8). 

The cocktail menu features favourites such as the cacao and date negroni (£9) and the plantain old fashioned (£12), along with various non-alcoholic options. The wine list has been curated to complement the menu, showcasing lesser-known grape varieties from around the world. 

Akara's mezzanine level offers a private dining room with an oak table top and contrasting wood inlay. Seating 12 guests, the space is ideal for private celebrations and gatherings.

"The Akara concept has been a labour of love for quite some time, and we've always envisioned it here at Borough," says Akokomi. "We're thrilled to finally bring Akara to this exceptional location, where we know the restaurant serves as a vibrant celebration of the unique dishes, ingredients and techniques that excite and inspire us."

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