It’s tough to open a new London food hall in the ghost of its former self. When Arcade Food Hall, née Theatre, opened in 2019, it brought together a clutch of the city’s hottest restaurants of that year to one glossy, glassy building at Centre Point, near Tottenham Court Road. It should have worked; the food was there. A clunky ordering system — and then the small matter of a COVID-19 pandemic — meant it didn’t.
Tough as it may be, JKS Restaurants — the group behind a suite of the city’s best, (Michelin-starred), and most innovative kitchens — has done it. The new new Arcade Food Hall is less of a collection of kitchens and more of a panoptic restaurant in its own right. A new ordering system, with table service and no queueing, makes dining feel effortless, while the range of food on offer (and the fully fledged southern Thai restaurant upstairs from chef-grower-maven Luke Farrell) makes it as suited to a dinner occasion as to a soaker-upper after a night out in the West End. The music is Now That’s What I Call 90s pop, dance, and hip-hop. The room is busy. The vibe shift? It’s good.
Take a look around, before it opens on 22 April.