The Bite Magazine - Autumn/Winter 2022 - Issue 32

JUNGLE HAVEN bitecuisine W illiam Sitwell at The Telegraph recently said, “It’s a jungle out there, but Yopo will take you by the hand and lead you on the path of enlightened discovery.” When you approach the charming but blackened Mandrake Hotel on Newman Street in Fitzro- via, London, you’re immediately enticed to enter the premises and dis- cover its mysterious ambience. The long dark corridor offers light at the end with a Japanese-style painting of a fierce-looking tiger with hunched shoulders glaring at you. The dark theme continues into the reception and foyer with black framed mirrors, olive antique sofa and rustic wooden flooring. It’s like a glorified dark room with the thrills of discovery. The five-star boutique Mandrake Hotel founded by entrepreneur and art collector Rami Fustok, has 33 lux- urious bedrooms, three opulent suites and an impressive award-winning penthouse. All the bedrooms have been designed to cocoon and provide comfort with a provocative use of colour, texture and original works of art. Yopo is a tree growing in South America that produces beans with psy- choactive properties. The namesake restaurant’s newly revolved design has a sensual bohemian look with an eclectic mix of comfortable furni- ture from around the world and exotic art to enhance the guest dining experience. The space is like an otherworldly fantasy with an artistic ceil- ing with mythical beings, jungle fauna and enormous butterflies painted by South African artist Peter-John de Villiers, dark rustic wood flooring and plant vases. In the restaurant lobby, artist Marco Tullio Siviglia’s artwork ‘Mycelium’ transforms the space like a cave-like gate, a rite of passage through a branching network encrusted with black sands, obsidian and stones. His intelligent design and installation give guests the illusion they are burst- ing out of the walls and melting into stalactites like hundreds of candles. The magnificent ‘Showgirl’, the majestic ostrich by Enrique Gomez de Molina, is the centrepiece, while other artists’ work enriches the restau- rant’s aesthetic look. Image courtesy of Palm Pr