I Go Chop, self-proclaimed as “the world’s FIRST concept based Nigerian takeaway” opened in June 2017 in Camberwell, South East London. I’d heard and read so much about I Go Chop before I decided to go and try it out earlier this week with my friend Dapo. This new contemporary Nigerian food spot has massively blown up on my Twitter timeline in recent weeks and I like it when a business understands how to promote itself well on social media. I Go Chop has also featured on Channel 4 Sunday Brunch Show and so far, I’ve only seen glowing reviews. So with the bar set very high and my expectations even higher, here’s what I thought of my trip to I Go Chop:
I know, I know, you all want to hear about the food but firstly, let me quickly tell you about the atmosphere etc. The small shop located in Camberwell can probably seat around 4-6 people comfortably (which makes sense because it is branded as a takeaway and delivery shop, suitable for quick drop ins). However we chose to dine in and so we had the pleasure of enjoying the sounds of WizKid, Davido and other afrobeats music as well as hearing the variety of customers’ orders. I was also pleasantly surprised by the diversity of customers… we saw Black, White and Asian people making all sorts of orders for example. Some were even clearly regular or repeat customers.
Overall I really liked the vibe of the place. It was very modern and neat, complete with eye-catching wall decor, art and quirks.
Onto the food itself… I ordered one of their famous burritos with a filling of jollof rice and plantain & turkey gizzard (also known as gizzdodo). You can however mix and match your burrito fillings with other things like beans, beef or yam porridge.
Our food came pretty quickly and was “prepared” in front of us. My burrito was about £5* which I think is a fairly reasonable price considering how much you get inside the burrito and how filling it ended up being. I loved the burrito! I know some people have admitted to being sceptical about the idea at first but I honestly think it’s genius – something so simple ended up being so delicious. The jollof rice and gizzdodo tightly wrapped up together in a tortilla was bursting with flavour. And importantly to me, I could actually taste the separation between the plantain and the gizzard. This is a big deal as I really don’t like it when there’s either too much plantain or too much gizzard, so they definitely got the balance right.
I can’t describe the jollof rice inside the burrito as anything other than “really tasty”. It met my expectations of jollof rice and it wasn’t too hot, which is a positive if you have a low tolerance for spicy food, and a negative if you’re looking for more of a kick I guess. Dapo on the other hand thought the jollof rice was reminiscent of “party jollof rice”, which has a slightly smoky taste. Either way – it was yummy!
I washed my burrito down with a can of Sprite which admittedly wasn’t my first choice drink. I really wanted to have malt but unfortunately they were out of stock. They do sell slush though, which is pretty cool. And if you’re feeling fancy you can order a “boozy slush” which is the alcoholic option with rum/vodka/amaretto etc.
Dapo decided to try something more bold and ordered eba with stew and spinach, also known as “swallow”. Swallow is a term coined for Nigerian solid meals usually eaten with soup and ingested by “swallowing”, hence the name.
In true Nigerian style, the swallow conveniently came with a water bowl to wash your hands in since eba and stew is traditionally eaten with your hands and not cutlery.
Dapo loved the eba! After lots of lip smacking and mmmms he was well and truly slumped. Eba is a very filling meal for most people and it definitely did not disappoint.
I also ordered a takeaway box of jollof rice and yam porridge which I reheated the following day. The jollof rice tasted just as great as the day before and the yam porridge was very nice also. It wasn’t too soft either, which is a plus for me.
Overall, based on my experience this week I’d give I Go Chop a solid 3/5 for price, 5/5 for atmosphere, 4/5 for taste and 3/5 for menu variety (I would have given them a 4 or 5 but the lack of malt drink really upset me lol. They also don’t sell moin moin or suya yet… but I do imagine they will broaden their menu in due time as they expand).
I love the concept and it’s a great alternative to some of the played out Nigerian restaurants that we currently have in London… if you know what I mean. So if you’re ever in the Camberwell area, I’d definitely recommend checking this place out. They open everyday from 12pm – 4am and they also offer a delivery service through UberEATS.
Fun fact: I Go Chop is the second shop opened by Tobi Raphael, the owner. Raphael also owns Mama Leah’s on Old Kent Road, London. His business ventures stem from humble beginnings in 2010, selling pancakes and waffles in Lewisham out of a trailer!
(*I wish I could give you an exact price for each thing I ordered but I received the full price of my order as a total sum and I don’t remember getting a receipt. However I paid £11.20 for my order – the burrito, Sprite and jollof/yam porridge takeaway box).
Have you been to I Go Chop or are you planning to go? And what’s your go-to order at Nigerian restaurants? Mine usually involves suya or gizzdodo… Let me know in the comments down below!
God bless you!
“Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.” — Proverbs 10:4