It’s a lunchtime institution — for those who work in eastern parts of London, the wander down to the wares of Old Spitalfields Market is as integral as a morning coffee.
Now, there’s a whole new side to lunch, and it’s called The Kitchens. Opening 13 October, the new initiative — developed by Nuno Mendes (Viajante, Chiltern Firehouse) alongside hospitality consultant Stephen Macintosh — will see ten of London’s most prominent, high-quality and/or Instagrammable kitchens operating out of Old Spitalfields’ central hub.
The value prop is that these locations will be designed to be fully functional kitchens, trading seven days a week, rather than being limited to peak times. They will also — some in their menu’s entirety, some alongside favourites — be serving dishes developed specifically for the market.
The restaurants in question include Berber and Q, including their infamous cauliflower shawarma; Breddos, hot-on-the-heels of their new site in Kingly Court, Flank, a Brighton incubation from Tom Griffiths focussed on nose-to-tail British meat, and Happy Endings, offering desserts designed for maximum pleasure.
Mendes’ involvement in the project clearly goes beyond a quick consultancy job, telling Eater:
We want to put Old Spitalfields Market back on the map as one of the most exciting and lauded destinations in London. It’s a chance for us to bring Old Spitalfields Market into the modern day, and to celebrate all of the creative people and talent within this pocket of London. In an age where retail is becoming much more impersonal and en masse, we want to re-establish that unique connection between traders and consumers, creating a more rewarding and personalised experience.
Part of a wider market regeneration plan slated for completion in 2018, this first step will do more than revolutionise a lot of people’s lunchtimes — it’s a genuine step forward for some of London’s most #ontrend kitchens, as well as an encouraging instance of the new dovetailing with the old.