Review: Chishuru, Brixton (eat at home)

Ekuru and goat cheese

Ekuru and goat cheese

We’ve enjoyed a bunch of upmarket takeaways over the lockdowns this year. Naughty Piglets worked out a superb set of menus that were an absolute doddle to reheat and plate at home, we ordered from them at least three times. And to control our bias, I can report that we had a takeaway meal from a similarly well-regarded modern British place at the same kinda price point, and it was a bit disappointing and more of a faff to boot. Along the same lines, we’ve become complete Dastaan addicts through 2020 (like, 10+ takeaway meals) and just to confirm their absolute excellence we had a takeaway from an equally well-reviewed modern Indian place in Brixton and every dish was a solid bar below Dastaan.

So now we’ve also had a West African Feast from Chishuru, a new delight in Brixton. So what was it like? Basically, a wonderful intro to west African cuisine if I’m any judge.

Let’s cover off the prep first. Definitely more involved than Naughty Piglets. But the instructions were terrifically clear and worked beautifully for timing; no awkward “argh, how are we going to keep this warm?!?” or “nuts, we’re going to have to wait for this!” Still, be aware that you’re going to be doing some oven cooking and a fair bit of shallow frying.

Splendid flavours though! Oh, and a hefty bang of heat. When one of the relishes is a dollop of fermented scotch bonnet pepper goo, you know you’re in fire territory. This was superb with the ekuru; a cube of steamed bean cake made with watermelon seeds and such stuff, with a green seed pesto on top. The better starter was a goat cheese pastry, which came out of the oil light and crispy (a total surprise to me, as I expected to cock it up and end with something oily and chewy!).

Beef ayamase

Beef ayamase

The main course of beef ayamase was eye-wateringly good. Chunks of beef shoved in the oven for twenty minutes should not have come out so tender, there is some kind of magic going on in whatever the marinading process is! The spicy green pepper sauce the beef bathed in was fiery and splendid, with a completely different set of flavours and feeling to anything Asian. Also need to shout out the attasi rice, the beautiful red colour and gloriously earthy flavours are definitely making African my favourite style of rice (okay, to be fair, from only 3 tries!).

The chocolate cake was a teensy bit of a let down. The cake itself was very… cake-y. No sense of indulgence, the texture more bouncy than velvety. On the other hand, the chocolate sauce to pour on it was mmmmMMMMMmmm! New secret flavour pairing: chocolate and black cardamom are MONSTER. On the other-other hand, there was far too little chocolate sauce; a teaspoon each.

Pudding aside, this was a real feast from Chishuru. I definitely want to walk through the door once lockdown is over. There’s a bit more prep than I personally want from an eat-at-home meal (I’m laaaaaaaazy) but it’s very well organised. I’d say absolutely solid value at £55 for two.

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