Most of you will know, because I shout it from the rooftops at every opportunity I get, that I was born and raised in Kenya, it was the best childhood where children could actually be children. Even though I feel very British, I will always be that geeky Kenyan girl that went to the beach every week and had coconuts and cassava chips by the lighthouse. Sigh!
So, naturally, when I heard about Jikoni I knew straight off it was Kenyan, it had some kind of East African roots. Fact – Jikoni in Swahili means kitchen. Jikoni is the concoction of Ravinder Bhogal , a Kenyan Indian and author of Cook in Boots.
My friend and I headed down on yet another rainy Sunday in London. The interiors have a very warm, cosy home feel, which really fit in with the whole ethos of the restaurant.
We went for brunch so if you go for lunch or dinner the menu will be slightly different. Looking at the brunch menu we were really feeling everything, so we ordered a few dishes to share between us which was just perfect for the 2 of us.
We could have easily ordered one of everything on the menu but refrained. Instead we got Prawn Toast Scotch Egg from the Small Plates, and from Mains we got the Cornbread with fried egg, Aloo Tikki Channa Chaat and Kataifi Egg. We also got the pancakes but we’ll talk about that in a bit.
When you look up the word “perfection” you’ll probably see a picture of the prawn toast scotch eggs from Jikoni. They were small, yes but gosh they were booked to such perfection. And they came with a banana chutney and pickled cucumbers which was the perfect combo. LOVE! I’d go back just for the scotch eggs tbh, and I’m not sharing next time!
The cornbread was my 2nd favourite thing – Cornbread, Spicy Creamed Corn, Fried Egg and Jalepeno Relish. The cornbread was easy to cut into, the corn was packed with flavour, and again the fried egg, especially the egg yolk, was cooked to perfection! The video I posted on my Instagram this morning makes me drool every single time!
These seem like small dishes but they were actually quite filling, but I initially came here to have the pancakes – Pina Colada Pancakes to be precise. However, it has alcohol in it, so I asked for mine to be made without the alcohol. The pancakes usually come with rum and coconut ice cream so I swapped mine for Ovaltine ice cream instead.
The pancakes themselves were AMAZING – so thick and fluffy yet so light! The maple syrup was veryyy sweet and the Ovaltine ice cream seemed quite heavy with it. I did enjoy them but was expecting something wow, but as they had to change so much on the pancakes they actually didn’t taste much of pina colada in the end which was a shame to be honest. The table next basically told their waitress we’ll have everything they’re having, but their pancakes were obviously the original ones and even had a sprinkle of nuts – I feel cheated.
Overall, I had such a great time at Jikoni, I don’t think there was anything I ate that I thought I didn’t like. All the flavours took me down memory lane yet still had a fusion feel to it, it was neither Kenyan nor Indian – it was both yet with a modern twist. The ingredients used were quintessentially Kenyan but in a form I’d never tasted before. I need to say something about the service – it was impeccable to the point that she made us feel comfortable that we almost wanted her to sit and chat with us – so informed and passionate! I cant recommend this place enough – I’ll be back sooner than they know! PS. This post is not sponsored!
Food – 8 out of 10
Service – 9 out of 10
Atmosphere – 7 out of 10
Experience – 8 out of 10
Overall, giving Brunch at Jikoni London a total TLH score of 8.5 out of 10.
Address: 19-21 Blandford Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 3DH
Halal Status: No halal dishes and alcohol is served but there are no-alcohol options
Closest Station: Baker Street (Bakerloo, Hammersmith and City, and Metropolitan line)