110 Whitfield Street
London W1T 5ED
020 7383 3346
Monday to Friday 12-2.30pm
Monday to Saturday 6 – 10.30pm
We were surprised how near this restaurant was to where we stayed. It was literally a 2 minute walk away, and it was just as well, since it was a cold, snowy day.
K was most excited about trying the food at this restaurant. He loves trying all sorts of weird and exotic foods, and this restaurant fits that description perfectly. Archipelago serves crocodile, ostrich, zebra, gnu, kangaroo and frog meat!! Their desserts are equally intriguing, with bee served in a brulee dessert!
The interior design of Archipelago is, to say the least, over the top. We don’t mean it too negatively, as it was definitely a visual feast, but it cluttered the already small restaurant and made us very conscious of our movements, lest we topple some delicately balanced crocodile over, or nudge an exquisite tribal mask off its stand. We later learnt that the owner lived in Singapore for a while, though we didn’t ask if she had stayed in Indonesia or Thailand as well, because the décor was definitely inspired by the culture and folklore of those countries. The place was extremely dark, and it was impossible to take any photos due to the lack of lighting. This was despite it being noon on a rather sunny day, which was a shame.
Anyway, we went for their tasting menu. This was considerably modest, in comparison to their other offerings. This was served all at once in a platter. Included in the tasting menu:
Crocodile: This was surprisingly (or maybe, on hindsight it shouldn’t be) fishy. K liked it though.
Kangaroo: This was not bad. Kangaroo is a very healthy meat, with only 2% fat, and is extremely high in protein, so go figure.
Chicken curry: Not bad at all, but we think we can cook better curry than that. (Note though, we think our curry is amazing.)
Savoury Baclawa (sic): The filo pastry was very good, but only K liked the cheese in it. It was rather messy to eat, and the honey will get all over your hand.
Soba Noodles: This was very tasty, and the mango was a refreshing balance to the other dishes.
Coconut Rice: Disappointing. We were expecting rice cooked in coconut, but this was rice with coconut flakes. It went rather well with the curry though, but then again, so would plain white rice.
Thai Salad: Average.
We also had some orange juice, which was definitely not freshly squeezed and rather watered down. In fact, it was one of the strangest orange juices we’ve ever had as it didn’t taste much of orange at all.
Our overall verdict was that this was a disappointing meal. K is very interested to go back and sample their other exotic offerings though, but that pretty much sums up this restaurant – relying on a very novel dining experience, but delivering pretty much only novelty.