The scene Between its sister takeaway and nightclub, it feels part fine dining, part like you’ve wandered into an African family’s living room.

The mostly African clientele cheerfully drink Guinness and keep an eye on football on the TVs – basically, a perfect Tuesday night scenario.

The grub The menu’s foundation is, of course, suya, a flavour-stacked, spice-rubbed, char-grilled shish kebab.

Our waiter is a welcome mix of attentive and stealthy, more than willing to offer direction when needed.

He advises us of their generous portions, so between three, we share a chicken and a beef suya, served off the skewer with a generous sprinkling of orangey-hued hot pepper powder which spans the gamut of spice-emotions – sweet, warming, burning, searing, cooling and bliss.

I’ve never been happier to see slices of tomatoes and raw onion on a plate of meat chunks.

There’s plenty more to try, though. Order-envy abounds with a nearby whole fish in fragrant soup and whole guinea fowl.

Braver palettes can also go for the snails in hot pepper sauce or offal dishes, but we go with a side of dodo (not the extinct bird but fried plantains with a sweet tomato sauce) and gooey balls of ground yam to pick up meat and mop tasty juices.

We discover soup means stew, and devour the melon-seed and palm oil-dominated efo egusi version with chicken.

We heed warnings of the “too slimy” ogbono soup, but ignore advice against the “too spicy” ayamese, a tasty mix of slow-cooked meats.

It’s nowhere near as hot as the orange power, and is deeply flavoured and tender, but is let down by disproportionate gristle.

Sigh, the blessing and curse of more challenging cuts.

Behind the bar A fully-stocked cocktail bar with a wide range of spirits.

Bottled beers include Guinness, Nigeria’s Star and Heineken. Or try African palm wine.

Bill please Lager from £4; starters from £4.50; suya £5; mains from £8.50.

Verdict Happy break from the norm, palette-challenging and character-packed. 

%TNT Magazine% stars 3

160-164 Old Kent Road, SE1 5TY  
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