Nigerian tapas, not two words that I have put together before, but brother and sister duo, Emeka and Ifeyinwa are the first purveyors to offer up Nigerian tapas to the people of East London. Their supperclub runs Thursdays and Fridays through June/July 16 in The Canvas Cafe. Also know as the Happiest cafe in London, well suited to Nigerian cuisine, I couldn’t help but smile as we take a seat to the African beats in the background.
I can’t say I have had any experience of Nigerian cuisine, except for hearing the word ‘jollof’ bandied around but that’s about as far as it goes. The dishes being tapas sized means that Emeka (the chef) has taken the flavours and the commonly used ingredients from Nigeria and made them into small plates, meaning we can try plenty of them! Also good to note that 75% of their menu is vegetarian.
Above you can see our chosen dishes, Far left: Plantain, at the back: Jollof quinoa, middle: Egusi salad, far right: Ades hot sauce, near left: Suya prawns, near right: Kuli kuli chicken wings.
So, finally I have tried jollof albeit the hipster version, Jollof quiona, it’s cooked in stock, spices and tomato puree to give it flavour, a great accompaniment to the chicken wings, prawns and smothered in Ades hot sauce, where I couldn’t help but feel like the portion size was some sort of challenge…
I had to pick the plantain as it is one of my favourites and it did not disappoint, cooked in crispy little chunks, with a soft sweet melt-in-the-mouth texture, incredibly moreish. We polished everything off, and thoroughly enjoyed our meal in this bustling little cafe. Our other highlights had to be the chicken wings (we considered ordering a second portion!) and the fresh crunchy salad with a ground melon seed dressing balancing everything out. The warm welcoming atmosphere, meant we were in no rush to leave, so we shared the dessert.
Chin-chin Cheesecake, chin-chin is a biscuit brand, and here the cinnamon biscuit is used for the cheesecake base. As you can see good base to filling ratio, not too heavy, with a little orange zest on the top. I was pleasantly surprised with the cinnamon orange flavours coming through, a great finish to the meal.
Being an East Londoner means we are lucky enough to have a huge variety of cuisines on offer, and here is the perfect chance to try something new for an end of the week treat. Five tapas and two glasses of wine under £40, so no excuses =)
Thanks to Ifeyinwa and Emeka for inviting me to Chukus, all opinions are my own.