Every few weeks, me and a couple of my close girlfriends from work go out somewhere in London to gossip, vent and laugh as much as possible 🤗. It’s an event that we plan in advance, and we try to hit up someplace different every time.
Last week, we decided to try out Arcade, a upscale food hall located in the ground floor of the Centre Point building next to Tottenham Court Road station.
Now, I dunno about you, but “food hall” has certain connotations to me. Actually, I’ve recently been to one that perfectly encapsulates what I mean – Seven Dials Market. A selection of food, communal seating, a raucous atmosphere.. this is what I’m picturing when I think food hall.
Arcade has elements of these things, so I guess food hall is a fair descriptor, but it is also different!
Inside, Arcade looks like a swanky restaurant. From the outside looking in, you would actually be forgiven for not realising it is a food hall at all. It looks really fucking nice.
But it is a food hall, and has managed to incorporate seven open kitchens, 3 bars and a coffee/bakery counter in its space, without it seeming too bustling or disorganised.
The other thing is that Arcade manages to put together a mix of more communal seating with private tables for different party sized – which again adds to the restaurant feel. We secured a table for 4 all to ourselves without any fuss, and a waitress came over immediately to give us a menu that showcases the food on offer from all 7 kitchens as well as their delicious cocktail and wine list.
Deciding what food to have there was a monumental effort, as it all sounded delicious. The kitchens are:
- Casita do Frango – Wood-charcoal grilled Piri Piri chicken accompanied by other Portuguese favourites.
- Chotto – By the peeps behind Chotto Matte, this is a build-your-own concept featuring Nikkei specials such as ceviche, sushi, hot chicken teriyaki and more from its Japanese-Peruvian menu.
- Flat Iron Workshop – Its all about the quality beef in a space dedicated specifically to experimenting with new dishes and specialist cuts. Here, they showcase rare best-in-class beef from responsible smaller producers in the UK.
- Lina Stores – Authentically Italian, high-quality dishes, fresh handmade pasta, cured meats, antipasti and more.
- Le Bab – Offers modern kebabs, served with contemporary garnishes, delicious flatbreads, and all your mezze selection faves.
- Pastorcito – Serving up some of the most authentic Mexican tacos and flavour combinations in London, inspired by the founders’ time spent living in Mexico City for over a decade.
- Tou – Arcade says this is “a first-of-its-kind katsu sando-driven concept taking London by storm with its famed Iberian Katsu Sando and challenging expectations on what can be put between two pieces of bread.” Intriguing!
One of my favourite things about food halls, is that you can all go and pick up your faves from different kitchens rather than having to all compromise on one particular cuisine. We capitalised on this and scattered to various corners to pick up yummy-sounding things, and then brought things back to the table to compare and share.
This was a delicious pumpkin ravioli from Lina Stores, with butter, sage and hazelnuts.
Aubergine polpettes, with tomato!
Pici with mushrooms and sausage
Charcoal grilled steak from Flat Iron Workshop, with a light, fresh salad.
Everything I ate (a bit of most things pictured 🤣) was delicious. But to be fair, I expected nothing less considering the pedigree of these restaurants.
We were too full to consider desserts, but there are sweet things on offer too.
Scores on the doors
Food: 8/10 – everything was yum, and I appreciated how you could literally see everyone making everything from scratch in front of you if you wanted to.
Service: 8/10 – its a food hall so you have to go and order yourself, but I’m giving this 8 because they also have waiter service when you sit down to take your drinks order and bring it to you, and also they did bring us some (but not all) of our ordered dishes to the table, which I wasn’t expecting.
Ambience: 8/10 – It feels like you’re eating in a upscale restaurant, and the fact that there are private tables was a real plus. When we visited, I felt like it struck a good balance between buzz but not being overwhelmed by noise.
Would I recommend? We all really enjoyed Arcade and would definitely go back to try more things!
See the full menu here if you’re intrigued to visit!
Address: Arcade Food Theatre, 103-105 New Oxford Street, London