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3 Unusual restaurants you must try8 min read

Do you fancy some snake for dinner? Maybe not…
Or would you rather see some impressive acts while eating succulent Asian food?
Or could you be tempted by a high-tech restaurant where you can order your food by typing directly on a screen displayed on your table?
All these ideas might sound unusual and indeed they are. We are going to show you 3 unique restaurants in London that will for sure leave a positive impression on your guests or the people you will be going out with.

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Archipelago

Going to Archipelago is like going to some really faraway place.
The name itself sounds very exotic, but wait until you try the food…

The food is definitely not your average London fish and chips (we have nothing against a good fish and chips by the way). When we went to Archipelago we decided that we would only try food that we don’t get to eat every day. So we tried their Python, croccodile and crickets. It was all a bit strange to think that we were trying this type of meat. But once we’ve passed this initial apprehension, we started eating. We didn’t rush. We took our time. We made sure we cut each piece slowly. We (micro) analysed the aspect of the food and also smelt it. It was almost like the first encounter between man and food. It was all very new to us so we didn’t know what to expect. We ate some small chunks of the various meats and realised that their texture and taste were different to what we imagined. They all were tasty because the cook prepared each meat well and with special sauces adapted to each meat.

Although we enjoyed them all, our preference was for…. the crocodile. It was tasty and its meat is surprisingly tender. This gets to show that you can be hard on the outside but a softy on the side.

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Archipelago crocodile
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Archipelago python

What makes Archipelago unique is its décor and attention to detail. Each plate is not only beautiful in itself but it is obvious that each one of them has been prepared with a lot of care. The food in it is just so tempting.

As you would expect for a place that is so exotic… the interior has been meticulously arranged.
The restaurant is decorated with little Buddhas, palms, peacock feathers etc.

Each ornament seems to be the result of months navigating the seas to get the best artefacts from around the world.
We recommend Archipelago for the adventurous ones and the not-so-common meat lovers.

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Dancers at Circus – they dance on the “table-stage”

Circus

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The carousel cocktail

Reading the name Circus you could think that the place will be slightly strange.
But it’s not. It’s very neat and clean inside. And there are no tigers and elephants walking around or snakes or crocodiles.
You do have acrobats and acts though and we will come to that in a minute….

Circus is located on a busy street in the Covent Garden area, but its entrance door is very discreet and the name is not displayed in an obvious fashion. It’s almost hard to find…
Circus is a pan-Asian cabaret restaurant. What an original concept we hear you say. And yet it is.

But let’s start with the cocktails. They have amazing cocktails! It’s not one of these places where they pretend to put alcohol in your cocktail and where you could easily think your ‘cocktail’ is actually a mocktail. No, we’re talking about real cocktails with real flavours.

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Beast of Byakko cocktail

Anyway, we were not just there for the drinks, you know. Hic!

 

We ate some delicious food too like chicken shumai, black cod tempur, succulent giant prawn etc.
Everything was very well cooked and served with some unique and great sauces.
And just like at Archipelago there is good attention to detail at Circus.
The cocktails and the food would be enough to make anybody happy but there is more…
While we ate we saw different acts. The first act we saw was a singer. A lady with a beautiful and strong voice walked around the room singing semi-rude but funny lyrics. Beware: you might be picked by the singer and she might come and play with you but don’t worry it’s all done light-heartedly and nobody gets hurt 🙂 .
The act then disappeared.
We got to carry on our conversation where we left off. Twenty minutes later another act came up on stage. This time it was a group of dancers. They were very talented and the music made us want to join them. But we didn’t. We behaved.
There was a twist during the dancing ‘plot’.
We won’t tell you what it was though. You will have to go there and find out yourself….

And at the end one of their dancers did this:

How on earth can he spin so fast! That’s crazy!
We got dizzy just watching him. Actually, that’s not entirely true. The cocktails helped a bit…

The final act we saw was a woman you don’t want to mess with. You could get burnt by her, literally. She was an impressive fire breathing beauty with a real love for flames. It was unbelievable to see how long she could hold a fire in her mouth. We are still scratching our heads trying to understand how she did it. Did she have a prosthetic tongue? Did she have no tongue? The mystery remains….

At around 10 PM, we left but were told that there were several more acts to come.
What a shame we had to get up early and go to work the following day.

We recommend Circus to anyone who likes funny acts but for whom good food is no joke!

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Inamo

High-tech lovers, this is a restaurant for you.
There are two Inamo restaurants in London. One is actually close to Circus in the Covent Garden area. And the other one lies in the Picadilly area. But soon there will be a third one in Camden. We went to the Picadilly restaurant.

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Dragon Roll

Inamo is a unique restaurant and we have never seen anything like it before. It is an Asian fusion restaurant that beautifully blends the flavours of Japan, China, Korea, Thailand and beyond.
Here’s the concept explained in their own words:

“At the core of Inamo is our interactive ordering system. Diners place orders from an illustrated food and drinks menu projected on to their table surface. You’ll set the mood, discover the local neighbourhood, and even order a taxi home”

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Crunchy Tempura Prawn Maki

The interactive feature is what makes Inamo a one-of-its-kind. We found ourselves playing with it like kids.
It takes a bit of getting used to but then we were on a roll and just kept on ordering food.
We could even keep an eye on the cook, because there is a
camera in the kitchen. But we didn’t use that feature because we found it slightly creepy….

One piece of advice though: if you want to go there and have a table booked with your picture displayed on it, make sure you organise things several days in advance with their reservation department. Indeed, you will have to organise things with Inamo in advance and send them the picture and you will have to check that they have it to make sure it will be displayed on the day you will go to the restaurant. This service was used for Sandra’s birthday and she was quite surprised to see her “mugshot” displayed on the table when we went there 🙂


We recommend Inamo to high-tech lovers who also love something more basic than computers….food! Or rather….good food!

If you are planning for a birthday or a nice evening out and your friends or family like unusual experiences, try one of these places. They will not be disappointed.
The experience at each is very different so make sure you know your crowd.
For example: if you know some technophiles then Inamo is the place you want go to. If they’ve been to some exotic places and would be happy to revive those fond memories, Archipelago will be perfect.
Or if they like singing, dancing and acrobatics… Circus is a no brainer.

This is the beauty of London, you can eat at some great restaurants where excellent food is served, but where you are also guaranteed to see something truly unusual and memorable.

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