Michelin star awards 2024: West African restaurant Chishuru wins first star

Chishuru: Adejoke Bakare wows diners with West African flavours (Chishuru)
Chishuru: Adejoke Bakare wows diners with West African flavours (Chishuru)

The West African restaurant Chishuru has won a Michelin star less than six months after moving to the West End.

The Michelin Guide announced the award at a ceremony in Manchester on February 5 alongside a host of new accolades.

Self-taught Adejoké ‘Joké’ Bakare first opened Chishuru in Brixton Village in 2020 after winning a local cooking competition and running a successful supper club. "I'm speechless," said Bakare. "Which isn't usually the case."

Bakare was then a rising star, serving — with just one other kitchen assistant — a handful of dishes from her home country of Nigeria, together with food from the wider West African region.

An early menu offered two courses for just £18, with homely dishes such as jollof with fried plantain.

Today Chishuru is one of London’s most talked about restaurants and serves a £75 tasting menu in a two-storey restaurant five minutes from Oxford Circus.

 (Press handout)
(Press handout)

On the menu are dishes such as moi moi, a bean cake with bone marrow, red peppers, and scallop roe; pepper soup, combining seasonal shellfish, radish and apple; and Newlyn cod with tomatoes, Scotch bonnet chilli, and okra.

In October, Standard’s food critic Jimi Famurewa gave the restaurant four out of five stars, calling it a “whirring dynamo of Bakare’s blazing, intuitive talent” and writing that it “has the power to take your breath away.”

Chishuru winning its first star marks a fortifying journey from north London supper club to major restaurant, one that has helped bring West African cooking to new audiences and further into the mainstream.

Bakare has said in the past that her desire to work in food harks back to her university years in Nigeria, where she ran a fish and chips cart in her spare time.

She moved to the UK in the Nineties and worked for a property management company before starting her supper club.

Comparisons might be drawn with The Clove Club in Shoreditch, which started life as a supper club between friends Daniel Willis, Isaac McHale and Johnny Smith, and has since scooped two stars.

Other West African winners this year include Akoko in Fitzrovia, which was described as "one of the most memorable meals of the year" by Michelin inspectors.

3 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 8AX, chishuru.com