JKS Restaurants will reopen the Arcade Food Hall, née Arcade Food “Theater”, in the Center Point in November of this year. With eight new kitchens, a new independent Thai restaurant on the mezzanine, a counter dining experience and a standalone bar and outdoor terrace, Arcade is being completely reinvented and closed with great expectations as London’s hottest since March 2020, just eight months after opening new Food Hall in July 2019.
Ultimately, Arcade never really took off and didn’t have time to weather the troubled waters of the early days marked by savage criticism from the Guardian’s Grace Dent. The so-called infamous “14 pound ham sandwich” – Tous Iberico Katsu Sando with pork and one of the best dishes on offer – was actually the least of a problem for a room whose ordering style and atmosphere were the main obstacles to its thriving.
“This will be the first venue to demonstrate JKS Restaurants’ philosophy of creating multiple unique brands and nurturing emerging food and drink talent,” the group said in a statement released to press today, July 28th .
JKS replaces a number of the hottest restaurant and café brands of 2019 – from TāTā Eatery’s TOU to Tacos El Pastor to Popham’s, Flank, Oklava and Lina stores – JKS, which the chefs and restaurant brands behind each concession have not yet publicly known there will include dishes from seven different cuisines:
- Southern Thai food
- Indonesian street food including fried chicken, duck, and satay
- North Indian fast food with variations of butter chicken
- Spanish tapas
- Shawarma from the Middle East
- Japanese sushi / omakase / nori snacks
- American-style fried chicken and “smash burger”
In addition, a daily lunch counter of coffee, sandwiches and pastries is expected to feature rotating guest chefs, while the new operators promise a separate “immersive dessert experience from the UK’s most exciting confectionery connoisseurs”.
A rendering of the arcade area at the foot of Center Point in central London’s JKS Restaurants
In addition to curating a whole new group of chefs and food business owners, JKS seeks to overcome some of the operational challenges and service bottlenecks that emerged in the first iteration of the Arcade Food Hall by introducing “a new style in the service experience at All food and drinks from the various kitchens can be ordered directly to the guests’ tables, ”they said.
In the past, guests had to queue for food at every concession and either at the counter of this brand. Arcade 2.0 will have floating service staff who will take guests’ orders and serve food from the various kitchens, while guests can also order food on site via an app. The idea was that “customers could choose dishes from the various arcade kitchens to collect in one order”.
Jyotin Sethi, CEO of JKS Restaurants, said the group is delighted to finally reveal that the company he runs with his brother Karam and sister Sunaina is behind the reinvention of Arcade in Center Point. “We have always aspired to create a venue that will host a variety of creative new brands and nurture emerging talent in the hospitality industry,” he said. “Arcade is the perfect place for us to do this, both with the physical website and through London’s first digital food hall.”
After JKS founded two of its own, now one-Michelin-starred Indian restaurants in West London, JKS has established itself as one of the capital’s leading restaurant groups and investors for most of the past half decade. It has supported and in some cases facilitated the openings of Lyle’s, Kitchen Table, Sabor, Bao, Berenjak, as well as delivery brands Motu, Rice Error and Ambassador General Store, the latter an entirely new store launched during the November 2020 coronavirus lockdown.
JKS’s Joytin Sethi told Eater in January that the outlook for 2020 was good – that while the pandemic had been a challenge for the company and its employees, it had also presented a number of opportunities. It has since announced a brand new Bao restaurant in Shoreditch, the details of an ambitious fine dining project in Mayfair and now – with more to come – one of the hippest openings in central London in years.
More shortly on the details of those behind the kitchens and the mezzanine restaurant.
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