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Akara: Team behind Akoko to launch new West African restaurant in Borough

Down in Africa: Various fritters (Akara)
Down in Africa: Various fritters (Akara)

The team behind the upscale West African restaurant Akoko will launch a new casual concept in Borough Yards this autumn.

Akara, named after the black-eye bean fritters eaten throughout West Africa, will serve an a la carte menu of traditional flavours from the region, with street food dishes, sharing plates, and barbecued meat and fish.

The 40-cover restaurant will be a more relaxed sister site to Akoko, which brought a much-loved West African-inspired tasting menu to Fitzrovia in 2020.

At Akara, smaller dishes will include akaras with various fillings — prawn, scallop, and ox cheek among them — sinasir (rice pancakes) with bone marrow and yaji, and tatale (plaintain pancakes) to be dipped in Senegalese hot sauce.

Main courses will be labu aged beef, dibi lamb, nokoss sea bream — each seasoned with varying spices used throughout West Africa, from Ghana to Togo to Benin — and roast aubergine dressed in chilli oil.

Sides will come in the form of a “signature” rice dish, edesi isip, which originated from southeast Nigeria, and a bean, cucumber and lime salad.

 (Akara)
(Akara)

Like Akoko, cocktails are set to be prominent at Akara, with a favourite from the first restaurant, the cacao and date negroni, on the menu. New creations include a smoked plantain caipirinha.

The wine list will focus on lesser-known varieties, while the design of the restaurant has been described as “minimalist,” with grey tones, curved oak façades and marble countertops.

Founder Aji Akokomi said: “The Akara concept has been a labour of love for quite some time, and we’ve always envisioned it here in Borough.

“We’re thrilled to bring Akara to this exceptional location, where the restaurant will serve as a vibrant celebration of the unique dishes, ingredients, and techniques that excite and inspire us."

Akara will open in October. Dishes between £6 and £38. Stoney Street, SE1 9AD, @akara.london