London’s 5 Most Unusual Restaurants

This article is written by our guest author Adam Hyman.

London may not have that element of zaniness of New York, that artistic edge of Berlin or that hippy vibe in the 16th arrondisment of Paris but it is fair to say that it has got some unusual restaurants. Here are London’s 5 most unusual places to eat. And whether the food is good or not is not normally the point.

Shaka Zulu

Shaka Zulu

A reported £5m quid was spent on this mammoth South African themed restaurant in Camden, underneath Gilgamesh restaurant.  The place looks like the set of an Indian Jones film with statues of carved warriors alining the dining room walls, guarding over the diners. Apart from Sake No Hana, it is the only other restaurant I know of that actually has an escalator in it. The menu is ‘safari’ themed with the likes of biltong, springbok and ostrich.

Dans Le Noir Book Dans Le Noir

Dans Le Noir

Located in Clerkenwell, the concept of Dans Le Noir founded by Edouard de Broglei and Etienne Boisround in 2004 is to enlighten all other senses other than sight. Guests dine in pitch black, the sort of unnerving darkness where you can’t even see your hand when you hold it up to your face, an ideal place if you don’t want to look at your dinner companion. It brings a whole new meaning to going on a ‘blind date’. All jokes aside, the waiters employed all have impaired vision and the restaurant helps to raise money for charities helping the blind.

Bel Canto Book Bel Canto

Bel Canto

If you are an opera fan but don’t fancy a trip to the ENO or the Royal Opera House then maybe you should consider Bel Canto in the Corus Hotel on the Bayswater Road. The idea behind Bel Canto is opera students working and singing as restaurant staff. The food is predictably Mediterranean, like many of the great Opera composers but it definitely plays second fiddle after the singers. The basement hotel restaurant is like many others but of course diners should be prepared to have their meals interrupted with an aria in between the starter and main or a chorus of the Hebrew slaves to end their meal.


Abracadabra Restaurant

Found tucked between the smart shirt shops of Jermyn Street, the only real clue to Abracadabra’s presence is the lonely jester guarding the entrance. I’m not really sure how you describe the food but their by-line for the menu is the best of Russia and Eastern Europe cuisine combined with a selection of premium meat dishes. I can’t promise to know the sort of clientele who would be present if you visited but this place is all about the décor. I think it is fair to say that there is a one of a kind restaurant.


Archipelago, Fitzrovia, London W1

Archipelago is all a bit ‘bush tucker trial’ with their menu of crocodile, kangaroo and wildebeest. This unusual exotic dining in Fitzrovia offers global cuisine set amongst a room piled to the rafter with knick knacks from around the world such as Buddha and peacock feathers. This niche restaurant really does offer the most unusual menu of creatures from around the world. Probably not the first choice of restaurant for David Attenborough but it is rumoured to be a somewhere Prince Harry likes to go for something a bit different.

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About Adam Hyman

One Comment


Hi Adam
To me, my Wife is the most exotic (fully qualified!) Chef in the whole World!
Together, we have some 30+ years of hospitality experience.
We are now thinking of opening our 1st Fine Dining Venue in London serving both, a choice of Indian & International cuisines.
What, in your thinking, would be an appropriate Venue for such type of eaterie?
Also, being in the commercial property field, you may have some places to recommend that we can view.
It has to be a NEW Outlet – so existing businesses would most likely not be in the running, unless there is a good argument for us to look into them.
Many thanks in advance.
Kind regards.


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