Now this is a place me and Adam have been looking forward to for months. When we booked our trip to London we knew we wanted to try somewhere a bit different to your usual chain restaurants. At first we were looking at celebrity chef restaurants before deciding to search for ‘unusual places to eat in London’ which is when we stumbled across Archipelago, a very interesting restaurant situated on Cleveland Street in Fitzrovia serving up a range of exciting, exotic foods.
The day before our reservation we were given a secret password to quote when we arrived in order to be taken to our table which was a nice touch. We took the Northern line on the tube to Goodge Street and walked five minutes from there to the restaurant. Upon arrival we were enthralled by the low lit cosy atmosphere with throne-like chairs, peacocks and trinkets dotted around the restaurant.
Once shown to our seats we were promptly given a food and drinks menu. Brought to us in a small chest, the menus were printed on a map, rolled up into a scroll and tied with artificial flowers. We were each given a bowl of water with a small scattering of dried flower petals along with a small white tablet that was placed into the water. The tablet expanded before our eyes and formed into a small towel to wipe our hands with before we ate. There were so many lovely little touches like this that turned our visit into a five star dining experience.
Love Bug Salad
Adam is a huge fan of trying new things, especially when it comes to food, so he was in his element looking at the menu which listed the likes of crocodile, jerked alpaca and kangaroo skewers. As we were really looking forward to the exciting menu Archipelago had to offer, we decided to go for the full three courses. Adam picked smoked python, hot-smoked escolar fish steak and chocolate covered scorpions for dessert. I was less adventurous with my choices but they were amazing nonetheless. I got honey glazed pork belly, ostrich steak and chocolate soufflé served with curry and white chocolate ice cream, topped with a 24crt gold leaf.
Honey Glazed Pork Belly
The service at Archipelago is second to none and I loved how the manger came over once the chef had brought out our dishes to explain each dish in detail and answer any questions we had. You could see that a lot of thought and effort had gone into each dish present on their menu which was fantastic, the combinations on our plates complemented one another so well, each dish was literally a taste sensation.
Adam and I tried and swapped parts of our meals so we could try a bit of everything that was brought to our table. Although I was a bit wary, I tried the smoked python which was surprisingly nice and tasted similar to pork.
Smoked Python | Locust on the Fish Steak
A few of the highlights were the wasabi crackers with a tasty accompanying dip, ostrich steak, smoked cabbage and the curry and white chocolate ice cream. Whilst trying the smoked cabbage from Adam’s fish steak, we couldn’t believe it was cabbage! It tasted exactly like the smell of a bonfire on a beach.
Despite eating mealworms and crickets, Archipelago is actually a really romantic restaurant. Winner of the 2015 OpenTable Diners’ Choice Awards for Best for Romance and Best Ambiance. We were sat in a corner of the restaurant in large throne-like chairs away from the other diners which made the meal much more intimate.
From the incredible food to the impeccable service, I can honestly say this was one of the best dining experiences I’ve ever had. I’d recommend visiting Archipelago for a special occasion whilst in London if you want a night to remember.
Would you be daring enough to give these exotic foods a try?