Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen at the Rose & Crown, NW5

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The crafty Kentish Town boozer has bagged a true streetfood queen


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So what’s the deal? The latest residency to hit one of the capital’s best neighbourhood pubs is hosted by a smash-hit award-winning chef dishing up a West African chop bar menu. Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen is inspired by the makeshift restaurants found in the subregion that serve as a gathering place for the local community. Here in London, things kicked off for Zoe Adjonyoh back in 2010 when people raved about the peanut butter stew she cooked during Hackney Wicked Arts Festival. Since then, she’s done successful stints at Pop Brixton, Kerb King’s Cross and in London Fields.

Talk us through things. With everything on the concise list a tenner and under, we’re spoilt for choice. Options include mouth-warming honey and hot pepper wings, accompanied by a generous portion of chips, and red vegan bean stew with sliced plantain – the sweet hint of banana hitting the palate at the last moment.

What to order? Free-range chicken dipped in buttermilk, dusted with cornflour and expertly fried. Seasoned with jollof – a blend of spices – the end result is light, with just the right crunch and an undertone of heat. Served atop a mound of well-salted fries, sprinkled with more of that mix, and chunky slaw flecked with chilli seeds, the overall fiery factor is pretty high – yet not overpowering.

To sip? With a regularly-changing selection of beverages, there’s always a quaffable tipple on tap at the R & C. On our visit, we try Gipsy Hill’s Amity, a juicy New England IPA that packs a punch at 6%, and Wylam’s Hickey The Rake, a crisp limonata pale ale hailing from Newcastle.

Fancy a snack to nibble on? Opt for the okra: slices of ginger-and-garlic-marinated lady’s fingers coated in super-crisp batter.

Don’t: forget the talented culinary artist at the helm of this street food project also puts on supper clubs in her east London home. They comprise six courses, featuring traditional plates with a modern twist such as yam croquettes and tilapia ceviche. Back at the pub, keep in mind that they host comedy nights and a quiz every Monday.

Notes: If you fancy testing out your skills in the kitchen and dabbling with Ghanaian recipes, pick up a copy of Zoe’s cookbook and whip up delights ranging from pan-roasted cod to coconut and cassava cake.

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Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen open Mon-Fri 5-10pm, Sat 12-10pm at 71-73 Torriano Avenue NW5. Dishes from £2.50 upwards.

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