Nigerian tapas: ‘Chop, chat and chill’ at Chuku’s

Emeka and Ifeyinwa Frederick

Emeka and Ifeyinwa Frederick - Credit: Archant

While many cuisines from far-flung places across the world are becoming staple fodder for the London foodie scene, Nigeria is still one country which is firmly under the radar.

Jollof quinoa

Jollof quinoa - Credit: Archant

But brother and sister team Emeka and Ifeyinwa Frederick want to change all that, and spread the love they feel for their native fare through their diner Chuku’s.

They’re billing the pop-up, which has taken up residency at The Canvas Café off Brick Lane in Shoreditch, as the “world’s first” Nigerian tapas lounge.

And fellow Nigerian, Olympic champion and Team GB athlete, Christine Ohuruogu, has already paid them a visit to taste their traditional and experimental dishes.

If you’re hungry it’s worth ordering around six of the tapas-sized portions to share between two, and then you’ll be able to sample most of the delicious things on the menu.

Kuli Kuli chicken

Kuli Kuli chicken - Credit: Archant

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If you’re looking for more of a ‘light bite’ then three or four will be plenty.

A Nigerian staple – the comfortingly sweet and caramelised fried plantain at £4.25 – is a must, as is the jollof quinoa, for £6.25.

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It gives traditional jollof rice - a West African version of paella – a healthy twist, with the superfood making it moister and even more delectable.

Protein comes in the form of honey-glazed Suya prawns, at £7.45 and Kuli Kuli chicken wings, seasoned with peanuts and spices, at £5.95.

Then the Moi Moi savoury pudding at £4.75 is made with puréed beans and is packed full of unusual but tasty flavour, while the Egusi salad, seasoned with ground melon seeds, is a refreshing accompaniment at £3.95.

With a slogan ‘chop, chat, chill’, referring to the Nigerian pidgin word for eat, Chuku’s is a place to socialise and relax to the beats of Nigerian musical legend Fela Kuti, and is worthy of a permanent home - I hope they find one soon.

Chuku’s residency runs every Thursday and Friday evening until July at The Canvas Café, 42 Hanbury St.

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