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Authentic Afro-Caribbean cuisine hits Ashford in exciting restaurant development

Authentic Afro-Caribbean cuisine hits Ashford in exciting restaurant development

Press release

15thAugust 2019

The UK's very first Dansaki Afro-Caribbean restaurant will open at Elwick Place in Ashford, bringing an exciting new food and drink concept to the town.

In a joint announcement today (12th August), Dansaki, Ashford Borough Council and Stanhope PLC confirmed that the company has chosen Ashford, one of the fastest growing towns in the South East, to unveil its exciting new restaurant brand.

From the idea and expertise of experienced caterer Funmi Aina, the director and founder of Dansaki, comes the aim to serve an exquisite range of Afro-Caribbean and continental cuisine. With the plan of creating a "destination restaurant" offering a fine dining experience in a cosy and welcoming atmosphere. Décor will feature bright African colours, amazing tribal patterns and artwork on the walls and authentic food to its customers.

The restaurant will cater for around 110 diners and boasts three venues in one - a tapas lounge, cosmopolitan bar, and full-service dining. During the summer months, diners can sit outside on the patio and enjoy a special summer menu, including BBQ grills and themed drinks. Dansaki will deliver a range of events and special themed nights, such as an Afro-Caribbean midsummer party, local artist's openings, Easter dinners, and much more. Local businesses will also be encouraged to use the venue for corporate hospitality and dining events.

Dansaki will open its doors to the public in December and is already working with the hospitality team at Ashford College to offer apprenticeships to local youngster's keen on a career in the industry.

Dansaki's Founder and Director is Ms Funmi Aina, a talented chef and businesswoman who runs an established and highly successful Afro-Caribbean event catering firm which serves corporate and private clients across Kent, London and the South East.      

"Afro-Caribbean food is not in the mainstream and we need to do more to bring it into the limelight. What we offer is very different and I think people in Ashford are going to enjoy visiting our restaurant and having a great time with their family and friends," said Funmi, who is writing her first Afro-Caribbean cook book.

Isaac Enakimio, Funmi's brother-in-law and business partner in the Dansaki enterprise, is overseeing branding, marketing, social media and website activity for the new restaurant, capitalising on his strong business connections in the area.

Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, said: "The entrepreneurs behind Dansaki have chosen Ashford to launch their first restaurant in the UK and that decision is a huge sign of confidence in the town. I'd like to extend a very warm welcome to them and wish them good fortune in the future.

"Securing Dansaki's investment is a notable success for us. With an exciting new Afro-Caribbean restaurant brand coming to Ashford it sends a strong message that an increasing number of far-sighted and ambitious businesses are keen to share in the Ashford success story."


A selection of photos are available upon request

Notes for editors

  • The scheme is a cornerstone of Ashford Borough Council's ambition to be able to operate free of government grant. It is using the income generated through rents and business rates to sustain and improve its services without the need for central government funding.

For more information contact:


01634 671167