Archipelago Restaurant

Visit Date: 23/11/2017

Score: 28.5/50

I had tried to build some suspense and intrigue leading up to this BTNDC due to the potentially interesting night to be had that laid ahead. Little information had been given out except some made up passwords….. Only I had been given the true password “TIGER” the day before but I thought to have some fun at their expense if I was running late. DC got the ‘password’ Bald Eagle. Shaf I believe the password ‘Camel’…. unfortunately Mit was his standard ‘oh is it tonight?’ let down norm, and I think BC had foot in mouth or something similar, leaving just the three of us to continue on this adventure.

An Archipelago is a group of islands…. aka Hawaii or French Polynesia. Often associated with tropical & indigenous cultures, plants, wildlife and foods! Well the name certainly befit the restaurant although the ‘Non-Celebrity Jungle Get Me Out of Here Creepy Critter Challenge’ may have been more apt!

Straight away, having entered with the password ‘Tiger’, we were met by a very eclectic and weird setting although unfortunately, & somewhat worryingly, too quiet.

The menus were served in an ‘indigenous’ fashion… We were all intrigued by the ‘Visit from a Doctor!’

A great cocktail selection led the way, especially the Bloody Mary, with the jellied Bloody Mary served in the celery. Very unique and even more enjoyable.

The service was extremely friendly and funny throughout. A really nice atmosphere and always extremely comfortable. It certainly wasn’t aiming to be in the upper echelons of fine dining, but certainly an experience for all to talk about and remember.

The Menu….. where does one begin!….

Zebra Jerky! On the whole well received considering it’s a stripy horse!…. however I had wanted actual jerky and it was more cubes of fillet.

Jerk Seafood. The prawns were nice but relatively underwhelming…. probably punishing us for our more conservative pick.

Python Carpaccio! Lovely. Gorgeously smoky…. first time I had eaten snake, can’t say the same for DC, but it was a winner.

Crickets! Erm…. Interesting. All finished surprisingly, I think Karl was hungry, but personally I believe there’s a reason why we don’t eat them in everyday life.

Crocodile Curry! Again very good…. I so want to use the adjective snappy here but cannot think how!

Ostrich Flank steak! Stunning….. an amazing bit of meat. So tasty…. highly recommended.

Alpaca! Lovely and spicy.

Kangaroo skewers! Very good…. no one jumped away from this. (Apologies)

The Caesar salad alone was very good,

however then the Creepy Critters got involved….

Columbian Queen Lefteater Ants! Not my thing!

Bug Pupae. Again not great. No wonder why they are both on Celeb Jungle although more worrying was the fact that Karl took all the spare Ants and Pupae home for his better half! Did he know something I didn’t? Having recently been married maybe he had hoped those Columbian Ants had contained some of Columbia’s better known export to help him out!

Onto the more normal deserts……

The Mediaeval Hive. Truly Gorgeous. So nice.

The Pharaoh’s treasure, including Chocolate and curry ice cream. Very nice and interesting.

Ghanaian Mule with a carrot purée. Again Really nice.

All exceptional deserts and a lovely way to leave an excellent taste in your mouth after what went previously.

Concluding with a Whisky and Green tea we didn’t feel the need to receive a Visit from the Doctor!

This brings me onto how we rate and score BTNDC outings. I thought the night and food, if you considered what you actually ordered, to be exceptional. Others score it comparatively against fine dining Michelin starred restaurants. There is no comparison save our scoring on the leaderboard. If you want culture and good food then go to Italy. If you want a stunning beach and paradise then go to Bora Bora. Both exceptional in their own ways.

53 Cleveland Street