Yiu Fat Noodle will be the latest restaurant opening from the group behind Peruvian-inspired London restaurants Pachamama, Chicama, Pachamama East, and Happy End Bar in Moscow. It is due to open in the spring of 2019.
It is described as “our own take on Chinese cuisine, using British ingredients & Western techniques.” The restaurant will be “a stylish, buzzing dining room in the heart of London’s China Town. [sic]” Floorplans and images reveal that the site is adjacent to Newport Court and Newport Place, opposite BaoziInn.
A China-as-imagined-by-Wes-Anderson pastiche of a website announces a project that is currently seeking investment. The entry point is £1000, and the group will not use one of the more well-known crowd-funding platforms, like Crowd Cube or Kickstarter. There’s a cap on one hundred thousand pounds.
Together with some very on-trend mood-boarding on Instagram — Balenciaga and La Croix in one image! — the website of veritable buffet of cutesy, infantilising, and aestheticised versions of the East. A red-and-white plastic take-out bag and young Chinese men wearing KFC bags over their heads are all over the place. It also reveals further details of what the group has planned. One panel comments on the history of the Silk Road in Xinjiang, the region of China from which Uyghur cuisine — as exhibited in London by Walthamstow’s Etles — comes. A pretty accurate description of the region’s history and qualities, focussed on “kebabs and dumplings,” posits that the food carries “a bolder influence that introduces a spicy depth and vibrancy, which its counterparts elsewhere seem to lack.” This “lack” is one of many possible takes on the nature of sociocultural regional variation in cooking traditions.
The group, which was set up in October 2014, said it did so “with a mission to introduce exciting, diverse and playful dining concepts to the London restaurant scene.”
Its placement is also notable. It is known the landlord, Shaftesbury, which owns the vast majority of Chinatown is using Central Cross as a play area for a range of new, contemporary commercial concepts. The 48,000 square foot “mixed-use development” at the neighbourhood’s eastern entrance is targeting a younger audience. What that means is new social media-friendly brands and more restaurants reflective of current trends in China.
And, evidently, Yiu Fat Noodle.