For those wanting to step out of their culinary comfort zones we have got just the thing! Archipelago is a well established restaurant that features some of the most exotic food you are likely to find in London. As soon as you enter you will feel as though you have stepped into an Aladdin’s cave of delights, the decor being full of curiosities that look like they have been carefully picked and brought over from distant lands .
As you take your seat you are presented with a small petri dish with rose petals and what looks like a small white tablet inside. The waitress then sprinkles water on top and explains the white object is in fact a small, tightly rolled up towel provided to cleanse your hands with before the meal begins- a lovely touch.
The wine and cocktail menus are beautifully presented as maps rolled up in a glass bottle and the food menu is hidden within a box disguised as an old book. Unfold the menu and you will see it is full of some of the most exotic meats and bugs from all over the world. The starters include such unusual options as Python carpaccio, crocodile wrapped in vine leaves and zebra jerky. The main courses offering up some equally unusual meats such as the kangaroo kebabs with a candy beetroot or jerked alpaca with buttermilk jelly. Don’t forget to try Archipelago’s trademark ‘lovebug salad’ to go with it!
Before we go on here’s a little fact that may or may not help you over the initial eww factor: Insects are a staple food source for 80 per cent of the world due to the fact they are high in protein and low in fat. (Lesson over)
The dessert menu is equally enthralling, ‘Pharoah’s Treasure’ is beautifully presented and consists of a fantastic combination of unusual flavours- the curry ice-cream and the black olive sauce compliment the chocolatey pudding surprisingly well and the gold leaf adds an element of decadence. For something more adventurous the Bushman’s cavier is a novel but delicious combination of caramel mealworms, bilinis, coconut cream and vodka jelly. Perhaps the strangest desert is the Medieval Hive which comes complete with a baby bee!
If ‘I’m a Celebrity’ gives bugs a bad name Archipelago is here to prove that when cooked in the right way they can be a welcome addition to any menu. To find out more visit the Archipelago restaurant here
53 Cleveland Street, London W1T4JJ
Monday – Friday: 12 – 14:30 and 18 – 22:30
Saturday: 18 – 22:30