Kenya, India, and London for dinner at Jikoni, Marylebone, London
Restaurant Review: Jikoni, Marylebone London
Style Points: 5/5
When I heard Ravinder Bhogal was opening up a restaurant showcasing Kenyan/Indian food I was overwhelmingly excited. Coming from an Kenyan/Indian background myself and growing up hearing about the amazing food from the area I knew dining at Jikoni would be a treat.
Jikoni is situated just off Marylebone High Street and looks just as gorgeous from the outside as it does inside. Ravinder and her team has designed it to look and feel like an extension of their own home and this certainly is the case. The intricate and multi-pastel tablecloths, napkins and soft furnishings add a homey and casual edge to this much anticipated restaurant.
What’s on the menu?
We were warmly welcomed and seated at our table by the window with views out onto Marylebone’s cute side streets.
To start we ordered cocktails from the drinks menu, including an orange and ginger martini and Dawa which had jaggery and lime in it. Both drinks had a rich and deep in flavour owing to the spices in them.
This theme of rich spices was continued onto the dinner menu and each of the dishes had a distinctive and strong spice featured in it - we couldn’t wait to dig in!
After perusing the menu we decided to order a load of small dishes to share rather than a few of the large dishes, in order to allow us to taste many of the things we wanted to from the menu.
We ordered crispy prawn puffs which combined with the cauliflower popcorn with chilli, spring onion, garlic was extremely moreish. We also had sweet potato bhel which was one of my favourite dishes on the menu, especially as I haven’t seen bhel made with sweet potato and it worked very well.
Additionally we tried the soft shell crab dish which was fresh and crispy. We also had to sample the caramel chips because it seemed a strange combination, but actually worked really well - how’d thought that caramel would make a good replacement for ketchup!
By this point we were quite full but after having a look at the Tamu Tamu dessert menu, we couldn’t resist but give it a try.
From the dessert menu we ordered the banana cake with ovaltine kulfi, miso butterscotch and peanut brittle as well as the Jikoni trifle and Kenya chai to compliment it all. Both desserts were rich and heavy and we could hardly manage to eat half of each despite them being beyond delicious. In fact I would happily return to Jikoni just for the banana cake, as the ovaltine kulfi and butterscotch combination was divine!
Could I afford to dine here again?
Our fulfilling meal came to £80 total with two cocktails, which is a fair price for the amount of food we’d ordered. However if we’d ordered a few more of the larger dishes rather than focusing on the smaller sharing plates, then the meal would have cost a lot more. In this way Jikoni has the ability to be quite a pricey restaurant, however the quality is worth the cost.
The menu at Jikoni is inspired by Ravinder Bhogal’s mixed heritage, travels and by London itself. As a result many of the dishes on the menu are unique and divine! I would recommend that everyone visit Jikoni at least once, to sample the many delights that are on the well-designed menu.
Visit Jikoni’s website
Address: 19-21 Blandford Street, Marylebone, London W1U 3DH
Closest tube station: Baker Street