15 months in the making, the all-new Arcade Food Hall at Centre Point will feature a menu from nine kitchens developed by JKS Restaurants, the group behind a suite of London’s most popular and well-known restaurants. It will open on Friday 22 April, with the food ranging from modern British sandwiches and jalapeno popper fried chicken to outrageous jellies, nori sandos, and seafood tapas.
Among the kitchens will be a proprietary JKS North Indian fast food kitchen based on Aslam, a cult street food outfit in the Muslim quarter of Delhi which serves only iterations of butter chicken; possibly the most exciting American fast food joint since the #MeatEasy as Bake Street’s Feroz Gajia brings his smashburgers and Nashville hots to central London from Clapton; a seafood tapas counter from Sabor’s Nieves Barragan, and juicy, generously packed sandwiches from Rochelle Canteen’s Margot and Hector Henderson.
And as well as whole range of new kitchens, chefs, and dishes replacing those who originally opened at the flash, glass food court in 2019, JKS has implemented a completely different service model at Arcade: it will act much more like a multi-kitchen sit-down restaurant (one with 380 covers) than a free-for-all food hall, where guests can book a table, and from that allocated space order from one or all of nine separate outposts within the venue. Food will then be run from the kitchens to the seated guests.
As well as making those changes — “the days of people willing to queue are gone” — creative director, Karam Sethi told Eater that he “wanted chefs with clout, we wanted the flavours to be familiar, but with plenty of originality. Seasoned well; punchy flavours. Restaurant quality in a food hall.” Here’s a run down of the kitchens, their menus, and some key dishes to look out for across Arcade Food Hall:
Hero is a North Indian street food / fast food kitchen showcasing the chatpatta flavours of Delhi and the wider Punjab.
Hero is the brainchild of Karam Sethi (JKS’s K), who has led on the appointment of all chefs and development of all kitchens in the new-look Arcade. The food will bear the closest resemblance to that which is served at the barbecue restaurant Brigadiers, where flavours and tastes hot, sour, sweet, tangy, salty, and smoky are apportioned equal weighting. As such, the kitchen will have a particular focus to the cult Punjabi makhani sauce, one rich with tomato, fenugreek, cashew nut, cream, and a potent kabab masala.
There will be butter chicken pao (sliders); Wagyu keema pao; aloo gobi vada pao; masala fries chaat; and butter chicken wings, slathered in the rich and piquant sauce.
About this kitchen, Sethi told Eater that his aim for it is to be considered as an “Indian KFC or McDonalds.”
A burger and fried chicken kitchen “inspired by diner culture in the USA,” which sees Feroz Gajia, sometime Eater London contributor and chef-owner at Bake Street in Clapton, partner with JKS Restaurants on a kitchen which promises to be the most exciting American fast food restaurant to emerge since the #Meateasy of the early 2010s.
The smashed burger will see a beef patty shown no remorse on the griddle, joined inside a steamed brioche with American cheese, pickles, mustard, and ketchup. Alongside this will be Nashville hot tenders, a jalapeno popper fried chicken bun, and a hot honey chicken sandwich.
Berenjak’s Kian Samyani pop shawarma bar will see the signature dish of khobez bread stuffed with chicken shawarma and marinated lamb doner. The menu will also feature a range of Middle Eastern mezze.
The wee sister site to Michelin-starred Sabor by Nieves Barragan and Jose Etura. The menu features classic tapas dishes alongside daily changing seafood specials. Prawns, clams, razors, scallops and oysters are among the fresh catches that will fill the seafood display behind the countertop. Saborcito dishes can also be eaten at a 10-seater counter bar, and guests can either leave the experience in the hands of the chefs or choose to order from a menu.
A new sushi bar developed by the founders of Yashin Sushi and JKS. Alongside a weekly-changing sushi menu available for the food hall, Sushi Kamon will offer a bookable 8-seat counter for a traditional omakase experience, where sushi chefs prepare a tailored menu for guests.
For the food hall at large, the kitchen will turn out nori sandos, stacked with sushi rice and the likes of prawn tempura.
A new sandwich and bakery spot open from 8 a.m. each morning, serving Margot’s Pride, an exclusive range of sandwiches from Margot and Hector Henderson of Shoreditch’s Rochelle Canteen, as well as seasonal pastries from James Lowe and Helen Evans’s Flor Bakery; coffee will come from Origin, one of the best roasters in the U.K.
This daytime-oriented kitchen will also have a nighttime guise: in the evening, expect Provisions Lates, with hot sandwiches (mutton and anchovy; cheese toasties) from Henderson and some negronis.
Desserts at Arcade come from the Jelladrome, an eye-catching and elaborate concession from Bompas & Parr and JKS Restaurants. It plays host to Benham & Froud, the fine British Jelly brand serving up shareable architectural trifles layered with jelly, blancmange, and other things which wouldn’t look out of place at Abigail’s party.
In addition to the above kitchens, chef Luke Farrell, as previously announced will take charge of Bebek! Bebek!, a spot which focuses on Indonesian fried poultry, paired with hot and sour sambals.
Farrell’s main posting however will be at the 55-cover sit down restaurant, Plaza Khao Gaeng, which will have its own entrance and overlook the rest of the food hall.
“This is the most exciting project I’ve worked on,” Sethi said. “The diversity, the building of the brands, working with new partners. It’s some of the most fun I’ve had in the last 13 years since being with JKS.”