One of London’s foremost suya specialists will add to his growing presence in the capital by opening a new restaurant off Walworth Road, in South East London. Abdullahi Maikano’s Alhaji Suya will open at 210-211 Carter Place, adding to his original site on Peckham Park Road — which recently reopened after recovering from a fire — and a space and truck at Angerstein Business Park in Greenwich, which became something of a lockdown destination for those in search of the euphoric rush of yaji over luxuriously fatty beef tozo, chicken, and whole guinea fowl, all part of one of the great barbecue traditions of the world.
Maikano also turned his business into a delivery enterprise at short notice — like so many other London restaurants have done in the last 18 months. Offering next-day delivery on first his most popular cuts, and then over time a wider range of meats in single portions and one kilo baskets, he has since added his yaji; zobo, hibiscus flowers’s Hausa guise; masa fried rice cakes; tiger nuts and baobab and dried okra powders; and kuli kuli, a crisp, fried peanut snack with a laborious production process whose other flavourings — sometimes sugar, sometimes black pepper, sometimes chilli — are entirely idiosyncratic to its maker.
There’s also his phenomenal kilishi, a Hausaland jerky made by drying beef, immersing it in labu, a peanut paste flavoured with ginger, onion, and chilli, and then air-drying it. Its heat is less the rush of yaji and more a bass thrum that builds to a crescendo, as the beef softens on the tongue. It is a room temperature reminder of a simple truth, per Eater contributor Jonathan Nunn: “the trifecta of hot meat, yaji, and raw white onion is one of the great accords of world cuisine.”
Alhaji Suya Walworth will open at the end of October.