Test Driving Chuku's - the Nigerian tapas restaurant settles down in Tottenham

roomStart with these, spicy plantain crisps (£2.50) and pair them with a Mango Colada (White rum, mango, pineapple juice and cream of coconut - £8) - everyone needs one of these in their lives at a time like this.

What can you tell us about Chuku's?

This Tottenham restaurant began life as a series of pop-ups and residencies by brother/sister team Emeka and Ifeyinwa Frederick. At the pop-ups they served up their Nigerian tapas - where they take classic Nigerian recipes and give them a modern spin, with the emphasis on sharing. This continues at their first permanent restaurant, which has an expanded menu and a few more cocktails too. 

Where is it?

They're on Tottenham High Road. If you're heading there by tube, your best bet is to get off at Seven Sisters, head north and you'll find them about a minute's walk past the huge Tesco. 

What's it like inside?

The bright feel of the restaurant with the orange accents on the wall (you can see this in the pic above) works very well. And they've made great use of the space - there are traditional tables for 2/4 in the main area of the room and a larger table down the back if you're coming en masse. There are also a counter section along the side and at the back, if you're just popping in for some quick tapas. Everything's spaced out quite nicely, so it doesn't feel cramped at all. 

So what's on the menu?

As mentioned, Chuku's is all about Nigerian tapas. That breaks down on the menu to a series of snacks and sharing plates. Dishes do come as they're prepared in usual tapas style, so pace yourselves on the ordering to avoid too much coming at once. Between two people, you should probably order 3-4 dishes at a time before going back for more (which you absolutely will be doing), 

We roamed through the menu and chose the following. 

roomEgusi Bowl (£6.75) - Yam dumplings with egusi (melon seed) and spinach stew. The fluffiest of dumplings in a warming veg stew - a must-have. 

roomPan-fried king prawns, glazed in a honey suya sauce (£8) - you'll be fighting over that sauce. 

roomOjojo (£8) - these are water yam and smoked mackerel croquettes paired with a perfectly pitched scotch bonnet jam with just enough heat to compliment without overwhelming. Gently mouth numbing - in a good way. 

roomChicken wings coated with caramel and infused with kuli kuli, a Northern Nigerian peanut spice mix (£7) - in our quest to try the best chicken wings across London, these are a definite contender for the crown. 

roomJollof Quinoa - steamed in Jollof stew (red peppers, tomatoes and ginger - £4.50). This is Chuku's signature take on a classic dish and no wonder - it transforms quinoa into something really special. We'd advise ordering one of these each as a side dish - you won't want to share. 

Anything else worth pointing out?

The cassava fries topped with spicy fried pepper sauce (£4.75) looked pretty amazing. We had serious dish envy spotting this on a neighbouring table.

How are things on the vegetarian side?

There are not only lots of vegetarian dishes on the menu, but all the vegetarian dishes and two of the desserts are vegan. So if you're on a vegan diet, there's a huge amount of choice here. If we'd had room to try more, the Moi Moi (savoury tart made from pureed beans with spinach and cabbage) would definitely have been on our list. 

And dessert? 

There are three desserts on offer and, as mentioned, two of those are vegan - the gluten-free, vegan yam brownies seemed to be a very popular choice on the night. Here's what we had. 

roomPlantain waffles (£7) - gluten-free, vegan waffles made from plantain with blueberries, maple syrup and dairy-free ice cream. A little heavier than traditional waffles but very impressive for a vegan option, as is the ice cream. 

roomChin Chin Cheesecake (£7) - an orange and stem ginger cheesecake on a cardamom and chin chin base. 

What about drinks?

As you can see from the pic above - it's well worth looking at the cocktails. The Mango Colada was excellent and The Obi (£8) - a mix of palm wine and coconut rum was also well worth a look. There are two white/red wines starting at £19.50 a bottle, Star lager for beer and soft drinks include Supermalt and Nigeria's Chapman mocktail. If there's one thing we thought Chuku's was missing a trick on, it was a more varied/interesting wine list. 

Overall thoughts

We'd somehow managed to miss Chuku's when they were doing the pop-up rounds, but are very glad we've rectified that now. Those Nigerian tapas are undeniably excellent, we love the look of the place which is warm and welcoming and their cocktails bloody good too. Well worth heading down to at the earliest opportunity. 

Hot Dinners ate as guests of Chuku's. Prices are correct at the time of writing. 


More about Chuku’s

Where is it? 274 High Road, Tottenham, London, N15 4RR

Find out more: Visit their website or follow them on Instagram @chukusldn


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