Food courts, food markets, and food halls are hot. Since The Kitchens opened two years ago in Spitalfields, touting itself as a half-way house between street food and restaurants, some of the hottest names in the London restaurant industry have opened concessions within multi-brand locations. At Market Halls, in Victoria, Fulham, and soon on Oxford Street and Canary Wharf; at Boxpark in Wembley; and, in September, at Kerb Market in Seven Dials, creative curators are working with landlords who are using food to increase the value of real estate in a city that is having trouble sustaining restaurants because of the...cost of real estate. Still, the restaurant brands are gravitating towards this innovation, one that reduces fixed overheads and risk and, at least in theory, provides guaranteed footfall. It’s also a handy one-stop shop for restaurant and food lovers, as well as Instagrammers.
And so, last week, to the latest: The Arcade Food Theatre opened at the newly redeveloped Centre Point near Tottenham Court Road in central London. As reported last month, it houses some of the city’s most celebrated, cult-followed, and Instagrammable restaurant and bakery brands, including TāTā Eatery, which has opened Tōu — a sando specialist, Pophams Bakery, Lina Stores fresh pasta, and Oklava, the celebrated modern Turkish restaurant.
Unlike its competitors — Market Halls, the Kitchens, and Kerb — Arcade’s design skews slightly more to a conventional restaurant, with counter seating at each concession instead of communal areas shared by each brand. It also features one central bar, upstairs on its mezzanine.
It’s striking, it’s buzzy, and it’s open now. Take a look around.
The brands in situ.
TāTā Eatery’s spin-off sandwich brand, which opens serving its inimitable Iberico pork number alongside an ox cheek and gherkin creation and an egg and tofu sando on milk loaf. Read more here.
The 75-year-old Soho Italian deli and restaurant that recently announced it will also be opening in King’s Cross, serving pasta dishes like pici with porcini and Umbrian sausage and stracciatella with olives, capers, bread, and chilli.
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,” with a new ‘Super Gringa’ wrap.
A new iteration of Selin Kiazim and Laura Christie’s celebrated modern Turkish restaurant in Shoreditch. Expect iskender kebabs, a pide with Black Sea cheese, and künefe.
Chotto by Chotto Matte
An adaptation of Kurt Zdesar’s approach to Nikkei cuisine that has won plaudits in Miami and London’s Soho.
Casita do Frango
A spin-off of Casa do Frango, the Southwark Street restaurant adjacent to Flat Iron Square, focussed on Algarvian piri piri chicken, which will also open in Shoreditch later this year.
The Islington destination bakery known for highly photogenic pastries, which recently opened in London Fields 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 run by Charlie Caroll, including a new Brit-mash-up of steak and Yorkshire pudding.