Exotic food seldom seen on most menus is the draw at this slightly eccentric spot just down from Warren Street. The decor - a mismatched mix of fertility idols, giant peacock feathers, golden Buddhas and intimidating masks - is perhaps as adventurous as the food. There's certainly a lot to look at.
The unconventional food features marinated kangaroo skewers, jerked alpaca, crispy zebra jerky, pan-fried crickets and crocodile wrapped in vine leaves with honey-poached plums and pickled samphire. Mexican pork belly, a chicken massaman curry and Berber spiced lamb are some of the more conventional choices.
The wine list follows this more traditional route, with an old world slant punctuated by a few bottles from the new. There's also a bit of extravagance - a 1961 Petrus is down in the cellar.
53 Cleveland Road
|Opening hours:||Meals served 8am-10pm Mon-Sat; 10am-8pm Sun.|
|Transport:||Goodge Street or Warren Street tube|
|Price:||Main courses £14.50-£24|
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Average User Rating
4.3 / 5
- 5 star:4
- 4 star:4
- 3 star:1
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Bijoux, from the venue to its many adornments; the identity of which you can muse over whilst soaking in the relaxing atmosphere.The variety of dishes -some of which in the UK are considered exotic- provide an intriguing menu. Our starters comprised of crocodile with samphire and a tangy plum sauce -absolutely delicious. On to the main, I opted for the bison steak (which put even the best quality beef steak to shame in comparison) and was delighted at the skillfully crafted bubble of accompanying herb butter. My partner opted for the Kangaroo skewers; delicious and perfectly cooked.They have a very decent wine list, but do take up the chance to sample one of their cocktails, too. You won't be disappointed.
The staff were attentive, yet not overbearing: Glasses remained filled and our meals and the ingredients were described expertly. There are vegetarian dishes, as well as meats such as chicken, for the less adventurous, thus catering for a variety of palates.
This tiny restaurant is an Aladdin's cave stuffed with Buddhas, trinkets and treasures from around the world. Set against dark walls and in low light the atmosphere is exciting but tranquil. Our waitress was friendly and attentive and very happy to recommend dishes including the Lovebug Salad (crickets and locust) which I can proudly say I eat and actually really enjoyed. We also had zebra, bison, alpaca and crocodile, all of which were beautifully served and had great flavor. The exotic nature of Archipelago is of course its major draw but it is not fallen into the trap of being just a gimmick, the food is good quality, interesting and really tasty. Things may have changed recently in terms of reservations, I booked in advance and was given a password to get into the restaurant but there was no need to give any card details before hand.