Chuku's: The World's First Nigerian Tapas Lounge Revolutionising the UK Food Scene Brought to You by a London-born Brother-Sister Duo
What is Chuku’s?
Chuku’s (ch-kooz) is the world’s first Nigerian tapas lounge and the creation of brother-sister duo Emeka and Ifeyinwa Frederick. Having spent countless hours working together as kids to recite the whole script of our favourite film, Cool Runnings, we have teamed up again to focus on another mutual love: Nigerian food.
Why we created Chuku’s?
Born and raised in London, growing up in a Nigerian household, we noticed that all our friends loved our mum’s cooking, but they did not know where to find it for themselves. So we decided it was up to us to take what they had loved about Nigerian food and bring it to the rest of the UK. But we wanted to do so with a difference.
What inspired us?
For years we struggled with the idea of how to put Nigerian cuisine on the “foodie” map. Then post-university we both led nomadic lives. Emeka found himself in Spain where he fell in love with tapas and its relaxed, social dining culture. Whilst, Ifeyinwa moved to Martinique in the Caribbean and developed an appreciation for a slower pace of life than she was used to in London.
Back in London, we realised that a menu of smaller appetising dishes – tapas-style – would allow guests to explore a wider range of Nigerian flavours and make dining a truly shared experience. So we paired the cuisine of our West African heritage with experiences from our travels in the place we called home – London, and set up Chuku’s. And coined the idea of “chop, chat, chill” to describe our unique dining code; where chop is Nigerian pidgin English for eat.
How we know the idea works?
We launched our idea as a pop-up restaurant in August 2015 and at just 4 months old we were listed as one of the top 5 African pop-up restaurants. From launch to now we have sold out each one of our pop-ups, serving hundreds of people and with queues outside our doors. We have catered for a variety of private functions – including hosting leaders from the World Economic Forum. And we have been featured in The Nudge, the Londonist and the Evening Standard and we are not even a year old yet.