This London Supper Club Wants You To Come And Chop Delicious Nigerian Delicacies

Tokunbo Koiki's supper club, Tokunbo’s Kitchen, will introduce Londoners to the colorful flavors of Nigeria

Tokunbo Koiki. Photo courtesy of Tokunbo's Kitchen.

Tokunbo Koiki, a self-described British-Nigerian mumpreneur, hopes to convince Londoners to trade in their fish and chips for suya and yam. Forget the tartar sauce, where’s the pepper sauce?

As the world’s undisputed culinary capital, London’s restaurant scene features anything from your standard Indian fare to less well-known cuisines like Burmese or Czech food. Yet despite the city’s nearly 16,000 restaurants, African restaurants make up less than 1 percent of the vibrant food culture. Through her new supper club, Tokunbo’s Kitchen will introduce Londoners to the colorful flavors of Nigeria.

The club builds on Tee’s Food Corner, a pop-up Nigerian street food stall that served as Koiki’s first venture in the culinary world. The enthusiastic response inspired Koiki to expand her growing business. “Tokunbo’s Kitchen is an intimate social dining experience, whereas Tee’s Food Corner is more tailored towards simple finger food,” she tells Okayafrica.

Koiki began cooking at age twelve, starting off with fried egg and plantain and expanding to more complex recipes such as pounded yam and okra stew. Today, the latter remains her signature dish, along with Nigerian-style fried rice.

Nigerian style fried rice. Photo courtesy of Tokunbo's Kitchen.

A recent addition to her list of favorite dishes is egusi stew, made with protein-rich egusi (melon) seeds. “Growing up, I didn’t eat it much, but a couple of years ago, I came across a recipe and decided to give it a try,” she says. “I realized I had been truly missing out all those years after I cooked egusi and okra stew on the same day, and I didn’t even eat the okra because I was so focused on how the delicious complex flavors of the egusi were!”

The vegan-friendly dish features on the menu of her inaugural supper club on April 23. Other menu items include oxtail, goat and tripe pepper soup, yaji spiced butternut squash soup, and efo riro, a vegetable stew. Her second dinner later this year will be centered on seafood dishes.

Spinach and Egusi Stew. Photo courtesy of Tokunbo's Kitchen.

Koiki decided to pursue the supper club route instead of a restaurant in an effort to diversify beyond an African audience.

“There’s about 1 million Nigerians in London alone, but if you ask the average Londoner about Nigerian food, they don’t even know what it is. I didn’t want to just open a restaurant for Nigerians and other Africans,” she says. “I want to introduce Nigerian food on a gradual basis to a global audience. Whether it’s London or Barcelona, I can travel the world introducing people to the colorful flavors of Nigerian food.”

As a social dining experience, guests will share a table with other like-minded foodies over delicious plates they would find in any Nigerian home—with Koiki’s creative touch. Tokunbo’s Kitchen focuses on the ingredient-driven food similar to what chefs like Anthony Bourdain now worship—dependably delicious, but not necessarily expensive or stuffy.

With an adaptable menu and location, Koiki believes the versatility of Tokunbo’s Kitchen is its greatest advantage. During future supper clubs, she hopes to host art exhibitions and provide musical entertainment to not only give guests a taste of Nigerian food, but also the Naija way of life.

Akinyi Ochieng is a writer and researcher of Gambian and Kenyan origin who studies the culture and politics of emerging markets. You can follow her on Twitter @kikiochieng and her blog.


9 Must-Hear Songs From Ghana's Buzzing Drill Scene

We give you the rundown on Ghana's drill movement, Asakaa, and the most popular songs birthed by it.

Red bandanas, streetwear, security dogs, and gang signs. If you've been paying any attention to the music scene in Ghana over the past few months, then by now you would have noticed the rise of a special hip-hop movement. The movement is called Asakaa, and it's the Ghanaian take on the Chicago-born subgenre of hip-hop called drill music. It's fresh, it's hot, it's invigorating and it's nothing like anything you've seen before from this part of the world.

The pioneers of Asakaa are fondly referred to by the genre's patrons as the Kumerica boys, a set of budding young rappers based in the city of Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. They came into the limelight towards the end of 2020, and have been dropping banger after banger since then, topping several charts and racking up millions of views collectively. The rap is charismatic, the visuals are captivating, and their swag is urban. Characterized by Twi lyrics, infectious hooks, and sinister beats, the allure and appeal of both their art and their culture is overflowing.

"Sore," one of the benchmark songs of the movement, is a monster hit that exploded into the limelight, earning Kumerican rapper Yaw Tog a feature on Billboard Italy and a recent remix that featured Stormzy. "Ekorso" by Kofi Jamar is the song that took over Ghana's December 2020, with the video currently sitting at 1.3 million views on YouTube. "Off White Flow" is the song that earned rapper Kwaku DMC and his peers a feature on Virgil Abloh's Apple Music show Televised Radio. These are just a few examples of the numerous accolades that the songs birthed from the Asakaa movement have earned. Ghana's drill scene is the new cool, but it isn't just a trend. It's an entire movement, and it's here to stay.

Want to get familiar? Here we highlight the most prominent songs of the Asakaa movement that you need to know. Here's our rundown of Ghana's drill songs that are making waves right now. Check them out below.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox


Listen to Berri's Infectious Afropop Single 'Fire'

The emerging singer makes a confident debut.