The restaurant at the W Hotel on Leicester Square, will continue to run as before on the first floor, while the ground floor will be run as a noodle bar and lounge which will open all day and until 12am at weekends.
Diners visiting the new noodle bar will be able to choose from a range of lower-priced noodle and rice dishes (from £5 to £10), like the Chilli-garlic egg noodle with seared shrimp and star anise or the Mushroom ramen with pickled radish and braised pork belly, as well as a select number of starters. Sharing plates featuring a selection of small dishes for £12 will also be available in the lounge area.
Executive chef Peter Lloyd said the decision to alter the focus of the ground-floor restaurant had been made after it became apparent that noodle dishes were the restaurant's biggest seller. The restaurant's extended hours were also in response to a shift in dining habits across the capital.
"Based on popular demand by our guests for Jean-Georges’ noodle dishes and his recent visit during Taste of London, we agreed to enhance our guests’ options with the noodle bar," he said.
South East Asia
The introduction of the noodle bar means the first-floor restaurant will focus on serving dishes inspired by South East Asia from its a la carte menu, which sees the addition of lighter dishes such as Malaysian seafood laksa with roasted red sambal and Lotus root, asparagus, lily bulb and black pepper.
Spice Market London, the sister restaurant of Spice Market in New York’s Meatpacking District, opened within the W Hotel in February 2011. The concept's menu takes inspiration from street food from South East Asia where French chef Vongerichten spent many years working as a chef.
Spice Market's news of its new noodle bar comes in the same year as Jumeirah Restaurants plans to open a chain of noodle restaurants called Noodle House in the UK and the emergence of several new Asian concepts.