Husband-and-wife team Aaron Verzosa and Amber Manuguid opened their cutting-edge homage to the Philippines and the Pacific Northwest, Archipelago, in Hillman City last weekend. The duo’s creative take on traditional Filipino food uses only ingredients found in this region, eschewing the use of items like rice and soy sauce. The menu, available via pre-paid reservations only, unfolds in a series of 10 to 12 dishes with a decidedly contemporary bent thanks to Verzosa’s former life as a chef at Nathan Myhrvold’s futuristic cooking and research lab in Bellevue, Modernist Cuisine.
The restaurant’s website promises to explore all aspects of Filipino cuisine, from pre-colonial dishes to present-day staples, with seasonal shifts, a logical approach for a kitchen so driven by local ingredients. Two elements will likely be ever-present: the couple’s own fish sauce and Verzosa’s fresh pandesal rolls with Washington wheat, an homage to his grandfather’s bakery in the Philippines.
Gotta start early to make that pan de sal! Thinking of Lolo whenever we make bread-- the first baker in Sual, Pangasinan.Posted by Archipelago on Wednesday, November 29, 2017
This is one of the first Filipino restaurants in Seattle dedicated to a high-end approach, which also means modern choices like no walk-ins, designed to take the guesswork out of how many people a restaurant might serve in a night — as well as to reduce food waste by preparing only meals that have been purchased in advance, according to the website. Archipelago’s website also explains that the restaurant caters to individual diners’ dietary restrictions and preferences.
Parties of up to eight diners must reserve seats at Archipelago, located at 5607 Rainier Ave. S, at least four days in advance through ticketing system Tock, which requires a prepayment of $126 per person, including gratuity.
Each night the restaurant is open — Wednesday through Saturday — there are seatings at 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. Diners should expect dinners to last about two hours. This is definitely a place to watch as a unique facet of the growing Filipino restaurant scene in Seattle.