Hotly anticipated Pan-African restaurant Tatale to open on 14th July
14 June 2022
Akwasi Brenya-Mensa’s debut London restaurant Tatale will open its doorways on Thursday 14th July 2022 at the Africa Centre, a former Nineteen Sixties workplace block in Southwark that can be a house for modern African tradition and heritage in London. The restaurant and bar can be located on the bottom and first flooring with exterior house within the type of a street-level terrace and a balcony. The interiors of the restaurant are curated by multidisciplinary designer and inventive director Tola Ojuolapewho makes use of contrasts of indigo and terracotta, baked clay and live-edge timber all through the house.
The restaurant seats 33 diners with a bar that has capability for 100 folks standing. Each areas will embody the identical spirit of the previous chop bars which might be a defining characteristic of the West African culinary panorama: bustling roadside joints that open their doorways to all, from well-heeled businessmen to drained trotro drivers, younger lovers, bachelors eating within the early hours and playwrights discovering their characters – all whereas Highlife pulses from the stereo.
Like Brenya-Mensa’s sold-out supper membership collection, Mensa, Plates and Pals, Tatale can be extra than simply concerning the meals. It supplies an area for Brenya-Mensa to flex all of his skills as restaurateur, broadcaster and curator. So patrons ought to count on different sounds from the Black diaspora, very similar to his radio present Black to the Future (which broadcasts on each NTS Radio and Ghanaian neighborhood radio station Oroko), in addition to common talks and collaborative eating occasions.
The modern Pan-African idea of telling tales by meals, artwork and tradition takes its title from the plantain pancake, tatale – a quintessential Ghanaian dish – referencing Brenya-Mensa’s perception that, wherever you’re on this planet, plantain is synonymous with the Black expertise. This concept of universality and heritage has turn into the spine of the restaurant’s idea and, finally, the menu.
Not one to take a seat nonetheless, Brenya-Mensa has spent the primary half of 2022 gathering cultural data of the cuisines of the Black diaspora by his worldwide occasions, which have taken him to San Juan in Puerto Rico, Accra in Ghana, Berlin, Amsterdam, Belfast and Lisbon. After over a yr of experimenting with dishes at pop-ups and festivals, understanding the flavors that persons are most receptive to, the long-awaited restaurant opens with a menu that represents the restauranteur’s personal Pan-African lens.
That includes dishes and methods originating from the Continent, the menu gives a possibility to introduce folks exterior of those communities to the huge array of wonderful dishes, components and methods. With the longer term in thoughts, the menu takes into consideration the assorted well being advantages of recreating heritage dishes with much less oil and meat to keep away from a few of the points the older generations at the moment are dealing with (for instance, diabetes). It’ll embrace choices equivalent to Chichinga Buttermilk Fried Hen Wings, Dill Emulsion (Ghana, West Africa); Ackee Croquettes, Curry Emulsion (the Caribbean); Berbere King Oyster Mushroom, Jollof Couscous, Plantain, Purple Stew, Palm Wine-Pickled Shallot (Ethiopia, East Africa/West Africa).
The importance of a Black restaurateur opening a restaurant with a everlasting web site in a central London location will not be misplaced on Brenya-Mensa: Black-owned areas within the UK are nonetheless few and much between. Tatale gives a possibility to lift friends and the neighborhood too. Constructing on earlier cultural occasions and panels curated by its proprietor (equivalent to Meals for Thought: Surveying the African Culinary Scene within the UK and Black Girls in Hospitality), Tatale will proceed to carry house for good Black minds working throughout the meals and drinks house to inform their tales in their very own approach. It’ll even be house to a coaching and mentorship scheme for aspiring Black hospitality professionals, as a part of an ongoing settlement with the London mayor’s workplace, and in the long run it is going to home the Pan-African Social Membership Incubator, which can launch later in 2022. This initiative can be a devoted program and house for Black folks in meals to return collectively, share assets, up-skill and progress of their careers. It’ll additionally see that Black meals expertise is represented at main festivals and occasions in London and additional afield.
The meals desk
Tatale will open on 16th June 2022. To guide a desk at Tatale, 66 Nice Suffolk Avenue, London SE1 0BL go to their web site right here.