Chef Akwasi Brenya-Mensa’s debut London restaurant, the pan-African Tatale will open on Thursday 14 July, he has confirmed.
The restaurant takes its name from the plantain pancake, tatale, described by Brenya-Mensa as the “quintessential Ghanaian dish,” who believes that wherever you are in the world, plantain is synonymous with the Black Experience. “This idea of universality and heritage has become the backbone of Brenya-Mensa’s concept, and ultimately the menu.”
“I view myself as an African Futurist... as I am really excited by the prospect of having a healthy, thriving and varied African culinary scene and what this will look like in twenty or thirty years’ time,” Brenya-Mensa said. “There’s a lot of positive change, innovation and excellence ahead.”
Tatale will open in Southwark’s Africa Centre, a charity that has relocated to Gunpowder House, which is set to become a new home for contemporary African culture and heritage in London.
The menu will include dishes such as chichinga buttermilk fried chicken wings with dill emulsion, inspired by Ghana; ackee croquettes with curry emulsion from the Caribbean; geelrys (yellow rice), fried shallots, and sultanas from South Africa; omo tuo (mashed rice), nkatekwan (groundnut soup), parsley, and sesame, also from Ghana; Berbere king oyster mushroom, Jollof couscous, plantain, red stew, and palm wine pickled shall, inspired by Ethiopian cuisine; as well as red snapper moqueca, with onion and tarragon from Brazil.
The restaurant will seat 33 and the bar has capacity for 100 people standing.
“Both spaces will embody the same spirit of the old chop bars that are a defining feature of the West African culinary landscape: bustling roadside joints who open their doors to all...,” a press release said.
The restaurant will be home to a training and mentorship scheme for aspiring Black hospitality professionals, which is part of an ongoing agreement with the London Mayor’s office, and later in 2022 it will launch and house the Pan-African Social Club Incubator -— a programme and space for Black people in food to come together, share resources, upskill and level up. It will also aim to work with organisations to ensure that Black food talent is represented at major festivals and events both in London and further afield.
“I want to continue to break down barriers and continue to create more space for Black talent. I want us to reclaim our foods, eat them with pride and for us to be the ones that reap the rewards for them,” Brenya-Mensa said.
“I want to continue this momentum and create real and long-lasting change for the Black community with a focus on hospitality.”