Akara Restaurant, Review

Borough Yards, London, 09-02-2024

The London studio took a trip to the Borough Yards in London Bridge to the beautiful, West African restaurant Akara to delve into the unique fusion of Nigerian Akara Osu's light and fluffy texture with the flavourful delights of Brazilian Acarajé, gaining insight into Akara's distinctive approach.

Photo credit: akara.london on Instagram

An Akara is a bean cake.

It’s a type of fritter that’s made from cowpeas or black-eyed peas, originating from West Africa, specifically Benin Republic and Nigeria.

In the heart of London Bridge, hidden in Borough Yards is a restaurant named after this very dish.

While the location of Akara was hidden, the area generally has a high footfall being so close to London Bridge station and Borough Market. Close to, but far enough from the hustle and bustle.

Akara is the second restaurant to come from the team behind Akoko, Fitzrovia – who were recently awarded their first Michelin star.

The London studio team took a trip to Akara and tried some of the delicious and authentic food options they had to offer.

'drawing inspiration from the diverse cuisines'

Akara's menu pays homage to the team's culinary journey, drawing inspiration from the diverse cuisines they have encountered along the way.

As we walked in, took our seats, and found a moment to take in the surroundings we found ourselves in a space of tranquillity.

Around us were monochromatic, neutral colours that seemed simple and quiet but as we took a closer look, we saw the rich textures that came from the marble-top tables and dot-textured plates.

The tables are slightly set lower than your usual restaurant tables, this could be because the famous Akara’s are traditionally eaten with your hands, so the height of the tables makes this easier to do.

The restaurant preserved its original charm, by maintaining its high ceilings and exposed brick walls.

There were plants surrounding the exterior of the restaurant, before walking in, with additional plants strategically placed inside, creating a fresh atmosphere.

Inside was calm, the background music was loud enough to hear that the music playing was from famous musicians of African descent but quiet enough for us to enjoy some out-of-office conversation… and be able to hear each other.

After deciding which dishes to enjoy, our order was taken by a very softly-spoken, polite and helpful waitress who helped us decide on the quantities we’d need to order.

The toned-down and use of neutral colours in the interior helped to keep guests focused on the delicious and unique blend of foods and tastes. 

Akara’s interior is a reflection of the delicious food they serve, modern, fresh and approachable.

Each course was served on a dish specifically for that item and each dish matched the neutral colour theme… see for yourself!

If we had to describe Akara in 3 words they’d be calm, relaxed, and flavourful – one to visit again.