We were seated in a tiny little cramped table near the window, where we had to move several times to let other people in. The service was reasonably friendly but more in a scripted way than genuine. I always got the feeling that the waitresses were more interested in trying to get you to order as much as possible rather than make you feel welcome.
I ordered the sweet potato won-tun soup to start, which was cold (and meant to be) but this is not mentioned on the menu. It was gloopy and far too thick and not particularly tasty.
My partner ordered the ostrich to start, which was not bad.
I then ordered the gnu (wildebeast), which was well cooked but a little bland. The root vegetables that accompanied it were inedible. The mushrooms were greasy and the root vegetable horrible. Our waitress offered us sorbets between courses and then added £5 to the bill. They were like flavoured crushed ice and extremely bland. My partner ordered the zebra, which again was not bad. It came with noodles which were also ok. The wine list is way overpriced for the wines that are listed. I ordered a Pinotage at £31 and it was very average.
There are many, many great restaurants in Fitzrovia and I have been to a lot of them. Unfortunately Archipelago is not one of them. If you simply want something different, then that is what you get... but top food you certainly don't. They also add 12.5% automatically to the bill, which is a bit cheeky.
All in all, I will not be going back to Archipelago as it is overpriced and overrated.
by mcolqu, 09 Jun 2010
by bobbypants (52 reviews), 15 Jun 2007
by Candy07, 26 Apr 2007
by Miny, 03 Dec 2005
by Malteser, 21 Sep 2005
by manoo, 07 Sep 2005
by Rob, 14 Jul 2005
by Anonymous, 08 Apr 2005
Reading the last review, I have to remark, made me puke. Captain outraged is obviously very fat and ugly and very unhappy about it. No sex for a very long time also comes to mind, but hey, I'm glad I wasn't next to their miserable table. Archipelago is very special, so don't let sad angry people put you off!!! Vanessa Anderson x
by Anonymous, 07 Jan 2005
The location could hardly be worse: It's tucked away up a windswept side street miles from anywhere, near Goodge Street Station. Things don't improve when you arrive. The place is the size of a broom cupboard, and the lack of space is made worse by the fact that it's crammed full of what can only be described as junk. Carved African heads juxtaposed with plastic Buddahs, and the like. There is no theme here: It looks like the contents of someone's attic. The result is an uncomfortable eating experience, where you find yourself crammed up next to your fellow diners. If you are broader than average, forget it!
The food is also hardly memorable. I have had much better at my local greasy spoon. I had some Mexican dish, one of the only vegetarian options, and received a tiny packet of tasteless rice wrapped in vine leaves, and a very uninteresting, tiny portion of vegetable stew. This was served on a large plate, placed on top of a piece of slate, on top of a piece of wood. This was all about presentation, and not food.
The service was also a joke: It took them 3 hours to serve 3 courses! They didn't seem very interested in us, despite the fact that, as a group of 12 people having our Xmas office party, the bill was not much short of £1000.
In short, avoid this rip off establishment like the plague, unless you like overpriced, tasteless food, or you are a moron who likes to pay through the nose for nothing.
by captainoutraged, 02 Jan 2005
by Anonymous, 25 Oct 2004
Have we missed a great restaurant in London? Let us know.
Photograph © Archipelago