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Chef James Cochran of Great British Menu & Islington based Twelve Fifty One. Image via Eater London

One of the key victims of this pandemic has been the restaurant industry. However, as the saying goes ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ and restaurants have been anything but sedentary in their efforts to stay afloat.

Swathes of independent restaurants have turned to selling high quality fresh food boxes, launching delivery services and serving up delicious cook at home kits. It’s important to support our hospitality industry and coupled with impact of Black Lives Matter - now is a great time to highlight black owned restaurants in London. Whilst there are incredible restaurants that remain shut - such as Tooting’s Smoke and Salt there is still plenty of potential out there…

1. Twelve Fifty-One - Islington

Yum. Example of 1251’s takeaway offering ‘Around the Cluck’ Image via Deliveroo.

Great British Menu Contestant (2018) Chef James Cochran cooks up a variety of hybrid food (Scottish and West Indian roots) in his Islington restaurant 1251. Whilst the restaurant described as ‘Bold, Imaginative and Fun’ by critic Jay Rayner may be closed for business, happily the kitchen is not. James’ lockdown scheme ‘Around the Cluck’ churns out delicious buttermilk fried chicken burgers, scotch bonnet jam and fries (with or without jerk salt). Also check out the DIY home kits which include Valentine’s Day and Burns Night.

12:51, 107 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 1QN

Order food here

Open Fridays 5 -10pm Saturdays 5 - 10pm.

2. Three Little Birds - Clapham Junction and Brixton

Owner of Three Little Birds April Jackson. Image via Tory Burch

Caribbean restaurant mini-chain Three Little Birds (there are now two) is all about big flavours and a warm atmosphere - all inspired by the Caribbean and one famous Jamaican; Bob Marley. With the restaurant closed, owner and chef April Jackson has turned her attention to the takeaway world; putting out some serious eats for those dining at home; Honey Jerk Chicken, Curry Goat and an alcohol infused Banana Bread. Once it reopens I’ll be back for a rum punch…

412 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London, SW98LF

Order here

3. Enish Nigerian Restaurant & Bar

A typical Enish spread. Photo via Deliveroo.

West Hampstead based Enish is a Nigerian restaurant. Owner Olushola Medupin offers a rotating menu of authentic Nigerian (and West African) cuisine the likes of

Gizzard & Plantain, Nkwobi (cows foot) and Yam Pepper Soup. Don’t be perturbed with the unfamiliar ingredients; the food rates 4.5 on Tripadvisor and is well worth your time if you want to experience something new.

299, Finchley Road, London, NW36DT

Order via Deliveroo here

4. Laza Restaurant

A traditional Injera at Laza. Image via Laza

Family-run Laza is an expert in Eritrean, Ethiopian and wider East African dining. All meals at the Newington Green restaurant are accompanied with a pancake like flatbread called Injera (pictured above) so you can ably mop up your Assa Qulwa (lamb cubes with chilli paste) or Birsin (brown lentils). A great pick for the veggie inclined with eight vegan dishes currently on offer…

41 Newington Green Road, London, N1 4QT

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5. Fish, Wings and Tings

Fish, Wings and Tings staples. Image via Timeout

Like Three Little Birds Fish, Wings and Tings works with and excels at Caribbean cuisine. Owner Trinidadian Brian Danclair is a real character; permeating his food with big and bold flavours that will make your lips tingle . Order doughy Cod Fish Fritters, reggae wings and prawn rotti. Delicious.

3 Granville Arcade, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9 8PR

Order here