The first restaurant to launch will be JinLi Chinatown, and it will be the second restaurant in the area for the Sichuanese operator.
The 150-cover site will open in December, serving a menu of modernised and traditional Sichuanese cuisine created by a chef from Chengdu, who will return to Sichuan every six months to develop new dishes. Traditional options will include fish in chilli oil; griddle-cooked duck tongue; sliced pork; sizzling rice crust; and Yuxiang shredded pork. New, non-traditional dishes will include the likes of JinLi fragrant rabbit.
Modern interiors will feature wood panelling and digitalised menus. Tableware will be imported from China.
The second opening in the mixed-use Central Cross development will come from noodle and dumpling restaurant Modern Shanghai, which also operates another restaurant in the area. The 4000sq ft restaurant will serve the brand’s signature dumpling – xiao long bao – as well as roast duck noodles; won ton noodles; and grilled Chinese tapas.
Décor at the new restaurant, by interior design company Habi Creative, will feature an open kitchen; grey marbled tables; and gold finishings.“2018 has been a significant year for our brand’s expansion and we are proud to be a part of the brand new Central Cross development. This Chinatown London location will offer innovative and exclusive new dishes, with the aim of playing a big role in redefining London’s Sichuanese culinary landscape,” says Yi Fei, the owner of JinLi.
“With its reputation as London’s leading destination for East Asian cuisine, we couldn’t think of a better place to launch our second London restaurant and to offer such dishes. We look forward to delivering a refined and modernised Sichuanese dining experience, without losing the essence that has been enjoyed by generations after generations.”
The UK’s appetite for dumplings has led to multiple Chinese and Taiwanese openings over the past year. Taiwanese restaurant Din Tai Fung, which had been expected to debut at a Centre Point site on Tottenham Court Road, has confirmed that before it does, it will launch its flagship in Covent Garden.
Under Shaftesbury’s curation and partnership with the community, Chinatown is undergoing changes to reflect the cultural shifts occurring in the Far East. New operators will be announced as they move into the area.