JKS Restaurants to finally open Arcade Food Hall next month

By Joe Lutrario contact

- Last updated on GMT

JKS Restaurants to finally open Arcade Food Hall next month

Related tags: JKS Restaurants, Luke Farrell, Thai cuisine, Arcade Food Hall

JKS Restaurants looks set to open Arcade Food Hall next month following the announcement of a new partnership with chef and Asian ingredient expert Luke Farrell, which will see him create two new concepts at the central London venue.

Farrell will open a full-service Southern Thai restaurant called Plaza Khao Gaeng as well as Indonesian street food kitchen Bebek! Bebek! 

The latter will join a number of other kitchens at the central London food hall, which traded as Arcade Food Theatre before closing due to the pandemic.

JKS Restaurants has also teased the possibility of a third venture for Farrell, whose Ryewater Nursery in Dorset supplies hard-to-find Asian ingredients to top Asian restaurants. 

“I first met Luke in 2009 when he was a stagier at Trishna and have since followed what he’s been up to from a distance,” says JKS Restaurants co-founder Karam Sethi.

“He’s an encyclopaedia on all things Thai and Southeast Asian and the first person I called to work with on the Thai restaurant at Arcade.”

“I can see similarities between the Indian food market in London in 2008 and the Thai food market currently. There is a genuine love for the cuisine and the opportunity to showcase pure, regional Thai food using the ingredients of Thailand is exciting.” 

Plaza Khao Gaeng is billed of a celebration of Southern Thai cuisine and will focus on curry over rice dishes.

“A Southern Thai raan khao gaeng gloriously manifests this coast to jungle cuisine, under-represented outside of Thailand. It’s a kaleidoscope of curries thick with fresh coconut milk and aromatic curry pastes, fermented fish for depth, and searingly hot stir fries with cooling herbs alongside,” says Farrell.

Curries will include gaeng tai pla’ (smoky mackerel with fermented fish innards, bamboo shoots and Thai aubergine); southern sour orange gaeng som curry, with garcinia, among other puckering fruits, and fish; and gaeng gati (a perfumed chicken and coconut curry with betel leaf).

Seasonal stir fries will feature klua kling moo ( wok-fried pork in a punchy southern curry paste); and goong pad sator (prawns with sator beans and pungent shrimp paste). 

2022 looks set to be a good year for authentic Thai food in London, with Nahm founder David Thompson set to bring his Long Chim restaurant to the capital later this year. 

Farrell's second project at Arcade Food Hall will focus on traditional smoked duck and chicken from the city of Yogyakarta, made possible with new supply lines to Indonesian ingredients and fresh produce grown at Ryewater Nursery.

“The secret lies in a heady combo of charcoal grilling, smoking, frying and spice marinade," he says. 

Dishes will include sate maranggi (beef satay); bebek goreng duck leg; ayam penyet (crunchy chicken leg ‘smashed’ and slathered in sambal). 

Related topics: Openings, Street Food

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