Centre Point wants to be London’s next dining development. The 1960s skyscraper, renovated into luxury apartments with a proportion of affordable housing well below the Mayor of London’s targets, and with half of those 82 luxury apartments unsold, is slowly opening its restaurant offering up to the public.
With the second European restaurant from a world-famous, hugely hyped dumpling chain, a 1960s-inspired flagship, and two prominent chains, it’s smaller scale than 2018’s big players. It’s not got the London restaurant names of Bloomberg Arcade, or the bankable sequels of Coal Drops Yard and Market Hall Victoria; it does have Din Tai Fung.
Well, until now. The news that Arcade Food Theatre will bring London’s next big food hall to Centre Point — and with it, some of London’s hottest and most exciting restaurants — Centre Point suddenly has a restaurant scene to compete with Market Halls’ high calibre vendors. It could be a game-changer, but it will also have serious work to do to transform Centre Point into the destination that, right now, it is not.
Here’s a rolling guide to all the restaurants opening at the Tottenham Court Road rebuild that’s become an involuntary symbol for the capital’s approach to mixed-use development.
The casual Italian chain is the first restaurant to open, with its RFID chip service and made-to-order-in-front-of-diners model providing a reliable, serviceable option pretty ideal for a location as indebted to tourists as it will be residents. Chief executive Roberto Moretti says, “It is such a stunning space, well designed and with a ceiling height bar, a mezzanine overlooking the room and Graffiti Kings artwork on the lift shaft, it’s truly a Vapiano like no other.”
Opening date: Open now
Din Tai Fung
One of 2018’s most hyped restaurant openings, the Taiwanese dumpling chain’s second London restaurant is sure to be the biggest draw at Centre Point. The world-famous xiaolongbao, glass preparation chamber, and thoughtful accompaniments are already winning queue-happy diners over at the Covent Garden location.
Opening date: TBC
Arcade Food Theatre
Details are light at present, but planning documents reveal a design concept for Arcade Food Theatre Centre Point, split over three floors. The venture is run by Streat Markets Ltd, a previously dormant company, with design plans describing “a cross-section of affordability and everyday indulgence,” including a retail offer covering coffee, flowers, and barbering that sounds similar to Mare Street Market in Hackney. According to the design statement:
Our carefully curated ‘new to London’ concepts represent a cross-section of affordability and everyday indulgence. We aim to showcase 8 individual chef led operators together with 2 curated bars. It is our intention, where possible, to select some of our tenants from within the borough.
Arcade Food Theatre has now announced its first raft of operators, and it’s a serious list:
TāTā Eatery’s new katsu sando shop and rice bowl operation, Tóu, will take the inaugural spot in ‘The Loft,’ which is described as an “incubation-focused mezzanine kitchen space.” Zijun Meng and Ana Gonçalves’ cooking at Tayēr + Elementary on Old Street — their first permanent restaurant space in London — is already winning serious plaudits, and this shop’s focus on their now-legendary katsu sando and rice cookery is, arguably, headline news.
Joining Tóu are:
- Pastorcito, a new Mexican restaurant from the Harts Group, joining El Pastor in Borough Market, Tortilleria El Pastor on Bermondsey Street, and Casa Pastor at Coal Drops Yard. This will take inspiration from “the founders’ time exploring and living in Mexico City.”
- Oklava, a new iteration of Selin Kiazim and Laura Christie’s outstanding Anatolian restaurant in Shoreditch, and a regular standby on London’s essential restaurants.
- Chotto by Chotto Matte, an adaptation of Kurt Zdesa’s approach to Nikkei cuisine that has won plaudits in Miami and London.
- Casita do Frango, a diminutive version of Casa do Frango, the Flat Iron Square restaurant focussed on piri piri chicken.
- Pophams Bakery, the Islington destination bakery known for highly photogenic pastries, which is opening in London Fields this week and will run the coffee and bakery counter at Arcade.
- Flat Iron Workshop, a dedicated testing ground for new dishes and cuts for the successful London steak chain.
There will also be three curated bars, art installations, and counter seating at each kitchen. This sounds like the serious food operation that Centre Point has been waiting for.
Opening date: July 2019
The self-described “flagship” for Centre Point is an all-day dining restaurant inspired by its 1960s heritage. Expect “modernised” dishes such as chicken à la king — sautéed chicken, mushrooms, cream and white wine —accompanied with warm (buttermilk dumpling) biscuits; cauliflower cheese croquettes with slow roasted tomatoes and Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, and banana splits for two.
Opening date: 16 February 2019
Pret a Manger
See also: every other Pret a Manger.
Opening date: Open now
Check back for more details as Centre Point’s dining offer develops.