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“Truly special place”
Review of Archipelago

Archipelago
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Ranked #1,030 of 22,659 Restaurants in London
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$32 - US$57
Cuisines: International, Fusion
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: After-hours, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Fitzrovia
Description: If Archipelago were a film it would definitely be one of the Indiana Jones series. First, the menu features all manner of exotic beasties - locusts, zebra, crocodile and second the decor is an exotic mix of golden buddhas, dwarf palms and giant peacock feathers. The staff will talk you through each dish, but there's also chicken, fish, lamb and extensive vegetarian options. It's a great night out for the more adventurous - or if you happen to be having Ray Mears to stay.
High Wycombe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Truly special place”
Reviewed 1 April 2014

My husband and I were looking for somewhere different to eat in London, where they also accept Tastecard, as we love a good deal. Archipelago had great reviews and an exciting menu so we have decided to give it a go.

As soon as we walked through the doors we were welcomed by a lovely waitress, who, throughout the night, made sure we were both happy. All the staff were equally friendly as well as knowledgeable about the food and its origin as well as the restaurant's truly enchanting and fascinating décor.

Food was absolutely out of this world. We had zebra and crocodile for starters - they were both absolutely lovely and presented in such a beautiful way. For main courses we had kangaroo and bison - both absolutely exquisite. Fantastic flavour, beautifully cooked. We also had a love bug salad on the side for a bit of fun - and crunchy fun it was. For desserts we had a gold leaf soufflé and honey dessert, which were both absolutely delicious.

Lots of absolutely positive remarks here, but, seriously, food is to die for, décor a talking point and staff a pleasure to be around, and we cant recommend it enough. Cant wait to return and discover more dishes, which I am sure will be fantastic.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JagodaParry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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433 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
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    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London
Level Contributor
111 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“Unusual exotic fare and ambience, plus imagination”
Reviewed 30 March 2014

Two adults and two 12 years olds, early Saturday evening, booking recommended. Walls and tables stuffed with exotic Far Eastern and African decor - real horns (springbok?), a turtle, an impressive peacock, ceramic, pottery elephants, colourful cloths like Indian saris for the chairs. The boys loved the mini face towels at the start which grew and grew when placed in a small bowl of water.

For starters, fussy son chose zebra, unfussy son crocodile in vine leaves, my other half had prawns, I had 'python carpaccio'. All were hits except the python which I found too chewy and tasteless. The Zebra in particular is recommended - though it was deep fried.

For mains, Bison, chicken and kangaroo kebab. again all hits tho the bison was a little tough. We had sticky Thai coconut rice (delicious) and love bug salad - I 'chickened' out by not eating the crickets, locusts or mealy worms tho.

Desserts very good too.

What is particularly impressive is that the chef works at bringing more to each dish than just the exotic centre piece - an avocado mouse, a ginger and orange sauce, or a thinly sliced marinated beet. Exquisitely presented and designed to give the taste buds a range of experiences with each dish.

Most of the exotic meats are imported frozen, and most are farmed, so not sure how wild they really are: the kangaroo and the crocodile are caught in the wild.

Altogether a very interesting and unusual meal, with a chef that is clearly interested beyond the quirkiness of the fare. Recommended. Expensive - £50 per person not including wine.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank GusinLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great fun and good food”
Reviewed 30 March 2014 via mobile

We went for dinner with another couple and enjoyed zebra, alpaca, crocodile, kangaroo, pork, bison, mealworms, chocolate covered locusts and smoked python!

Naturally with an exotic menu like this, half the fun is in exploring new things and sharing.

We had a table downstairs which was more empty than full on the Tuesday evening of our visit. If returning, I would request a table on the ground floor which seemed to have more of a buzz.

The food was all delicious. The waitress was extremely knowledgeable about the food's origins, preparation and tastes.

All of the dishes were tasty and there wasn't anything that we didn't like although we all had different favourites. I thought the zebra was amazing.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a visit if you are the sort of person who likes to try new things but don't ask them to "make it snappy" when you order the crocodile… they've heard it!


Helpful?
Thank James F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pisa, Italy
Level Contributor
166 reviews
111 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Unusual experience”
Reviewed 22 March 2014

Following the advises of many reviewers (and in particular of the couple whose daughter wrote a dissertation in cultural studies --here in tripadvisor) I decided to try this restaurant. I was looking for a place where to eat kangaroo meat in London and I found out this -which indeed offered an even larger variety of exotic meats. Basically, this was the reason for which I chose this place, since I'm attracted by new tastes and incline to try new experiences. Among a great list of starters that included crocodile, chicksters, zebra and python, I opted for these last two ones (which I never ate before), whereas my husband ordered more "traditional" kangaroo skewers. All the meats came with particular sides as well, such as candied bettroot, that witnessed to a marked fusion attitude of the chef. I was not so dare to try the Wildlife salad (which is accompanied by some insects), but I could not resist trying the locusts dip in chocolate. They were good but perhaps a bit expensive. As for the other dishes, I found that archipelago is perhaps on the expensive side, but the peculiar experience and the attentiveness of the service make it worth of that expense -on the other hand, it must be said that London is generally expensive and that the restaurant is located in the center of Soho and Fitzrovia. Besides, the wine (Argentinian cabernet) was really superb and matched perfectly with the meats. As for the meats, python comes lighlty spiced with rocket salad. It tastes good, even though a bit though: for those who are acquainted with Italian food, I can say that it reminds a pork specialty named porchetta; zebra is really nice and I reccommend it.
The ambiance of the restaurant is exotic too, with a baroque and lavish Indian inspired decor (perhaps too much opulent in my opinion, but nonetheless suitable to the eccenticity of the dishes that are served). A final positive note is for the owners and the waiters, who were very nice and thoughtful. I will surely visit this place again.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TongBo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
85 reviews
68 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Wonderfully wacky”
Reviewed 19 March 2014 via mobile

What a great time we had at Archipelago. It is a quirky place with quirky staff and quirky food! The staff were friendly, fun and attentive. I loved the design of the place and the ambience. It was a little expensive but considering what you're eating and the quality of the food, I think fair. We all really enjoyed our food. We had a mixture of starters including snake, crocodile, pork and the blue cheese. The meats were all delicious (I didn't try the cheese but my friend enjoyed it). For mains we had bison and alpaca. The bison was delicious and so tender. The alpaca spicy and fun! For pudding my husband tried the bee and the remaining three tried a chocolate covered locust each. They were surprisingly good! A great place to go if you want something different. I'll certainly be going back!

Helpful?
Thank Caroline G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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