Following the demand for regional specialty dishes and inspiring East Asian experiences, Shaftesbury has announced that two Chinatown London tenants are investing in the destination by launching new regional cuisine concepts. Longstanding tenant, C&R Café, has launched a spin-off Malaysian delicatessen, whilst Hot Pot has relaunched as Chalida, an authentic Thai restaurant.

New deli concept, Rosa’s Malaysian Delicatessen, is part of the C&R family, a Chinatown stalwart that has been trading at 4-5 Rupert Court since 1998. The new sister site is located directly opposite C&R Café, covering a total of 560 sq ft. Rosa’s Malaysian Delicatessen has a retail offer of Malaysian and South East Asian snacks, desserts, and drinks to go, as well as homemade, daily-changing house specials available for lunch.

Founder of Hot Pot, Jerry Taechaubol, decided to pay homage to his Grandmother, a Chinese war-time immigrant who moved to Bangkok and made her living by running her own hawker stall on Yaowarat Road, by relaunching as Chalida. The new 3,900 sq ft concept at 17 Wardour Street will be Chinatown London’s first restaurant featuring sharing-style authentic Thai street food. With space for approximately 150 covers, Chalida responds to strong customer demand and the immense popularity of the Thai dishes on offer in the former Hot Pot restaurant. A refreshed menu combines age-old Thai-Chinese homestyle favourites with interpretations of street food the restaurant’s founder grew up eating.

Julia Wilkinson, Head of Group Restaurant Strategy at Shaftesbury, commented: “We are privileged to have such innovative and forward-thinking tenants that are committed to investing in Chinatown London in the long term. Both new concepts are a real asset for the destination and reflect the demand for authentic regional cuisines. C&R have built up an incredibly loyal following over the past 21 years so we know their new delicatessen concept will be a hit, and Chalida is a response to customer demand, offering mouth-watering Thai street food in the heart of London’s West End.”

Jerry Taechaubol, founder of Chalida, added: “We wanted to make the very most of this prime central site in Chinatown London and saw a gap in the market to provide a truly authentic Thai offer. With food inspired by my grandmother, I named Chalida after my mother – the concept is a true celebration of the women in my life, my Thai heritage and the amazing food that I grew up with on the streets of Bangkok. This change has been very special to me, so I’m delighted to relaunch and bring this exciting offer from Chinatown in Bangkok to Chinatown in London.”

Rosa Chung, owner of C&R Café and Rosa’s Malaysian Delicatessen, said: “The new delicatessen concept has been designed to complement C&R Café, providing an array of Malaysian snacks, desserts, drinks, and lunchtime specials just opposite our much-loved authentic restaurant. We have been in Chinatown London for over 20 years, and we are very excited to bring our expertise to this new venture, expanding the Malay offering in this iconic destination.

This trend for existing Chinatown tenants launching new sites follows the recent announcement that Alex Xu, who owns Happy Lemon on Newport Court, has signed for an 1,800 sq ft unit at 100-102 Shaftesbury Avenue for the UK flagship for authentic Taiwanese dessert brand, Meet Fresh, and the people behind Cuppacha Bubble Tea at 23 Newport Court have signed for a 200 sq ft unit for new concept, Taiyakiya. In addition, leading Japanese fusion dessert specialist, Kova Patisserie, has recently signed for a 240 sq ft unit at 20a Newport Court. All dessert brands are expected to launch this summer.

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