Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tinie Tempah on Old Kent Road

Nice to see Tinie Tempah talking up the Old Kent Road in the Guardian at the weekend:

'Life is good when you're Tinie Tempah. The Plumstead-raised artist – otherwise known as Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu Jr – has won a tonne of praise for uniting the disparate music scenes of grime, underground rave and radio-friendly pop without selling any of them out. He's had two No 1 singles, a No 1 album and two Brit awards. One of the fringe benefits of fame is that you get to discover new experiences in eating. Born in London to Nigerian parents, Tinie has always appreciated his food.

Nigerian food is a fundamental part of his life. It's what he grew up with and it builds up the palate because it's packed with flavour. "Nigerian food is lots of flavour, lots of tomato purée, rice, yam, beans… it's a whole load of stuff, really good." His favourite would be pounded yam with egusi soup, a savoury soup with meat and spinach which exists in countless variants across West Africa.

He has a couple of favourite Nigerian restaurants, both on the Old Kent Road in south-east London: the classy 805 and the more home-style Presidential Suya Grill. They're both family-run businesses, friendly and personal. Presidential, in particular, is one of those places where you feel like you're in Nigeria, he says. "There is a real nice atmosphere. When I come back from travelling the world, I do like to go there and chill. It's humbling."

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