Try booking a table at an 805 restaurant and you’ll see that the tables are hard to come by. Especially on a week day! In fact, weekday, weekend, festive season or not, 805 has a loyal clientele and attracts a huge number of curious debutante tasters of African cuisine. The evidence stares you in the face – there were many diners of numerous nationalities seated and eating African food.
And 805 serves it very well. On our visit to the Old Kent Road outlet, we had a party of five. We were well received and the staff were very corteous. Placing us at our preferred table was without any fuss. Our table server gave us advice on the menu while taking care not to be unduly prescriptive. In our group were two Nigerians, one South African and another from the Carribean.
We ordered Iyan (Pounded Yam with the Efo Riro and assorted meat; Jollof Rice with Plantains with Beef; two servings of Monika – Full size Croaker fish with fried plantains and side salad.
The Iyan was excellent, with a soft texture and subtlety in taste testifying to its yam roots. The Efo Riro was delicious, its crunchy greens interspersed with little red chillies and ‘Iru’ (locust beans). The assorted meat was a mix of beef, Shaki – beef tripe and cow leg. They were not overcooked but well enough to be chewed comfortably.
The Monika was also superb. The fish was tender and its juices expressed a tropical shower of ingredients captivating in every bite. And, finally, the Jollof rice was divine. We ordered an additional serving to embed the experience.
Of course, we had to have the obligatory African beer! This time, it was Nigerian Star beer that caressed the palate which had indulged the palatable food. And our party also had non-alcoholic Malta Guinness too. Two very authentic drinks from the heart of Africa.
It was a fine dining experience and the service was fabulous. It was our pleasure to speak with the proprietor and the manager afterwards. They’re doing a great job. Next to our table sat two young ‘white’ girls tackling ‘Iyan’ with Ogbono soup and Jollof Rice. Next to them were a group of three young ‘white’ boys. They were eating Jollof Rice. On asking how they came about 805, they said they lived locally and heard that it was a very good place to eat. They said they loved it!
Well, enough said. We had some feedback from some of the diners:
Sofia wrote us and said:
“I ordered the pounded yam and ogbono soup with fried fish and plantain on the side. The plantain was delicious but overpriced for the amount you get. The pounded yam and ogbono was very nice and the portion was more than enough. Overall the food was very nice. Service was also impressive and the waiter was extremely polite and attentive.” There you have it. 805 brings a whole new game to African cuisine in the diaspora.
Total bill for 4 adults – £86.50
FOR BOOKINGS :
805 Old Kent Road
Tel: +44 207 639 0808
60 Vivian Avenue
Tel: +44 208 202 9449