Takeaway to the Fore at Chinatown London, the F&B Hub for Locked-Down Locals

Shaftesbury has announced 28 of Chinatown London’s F&B operators have remained open in the second lockdown for delivery, takeaway, and click & collect, preserving the hub of East Asian cuisine for residents and visitors to the West End.

The vast array of cuisines that are on offer throughout lockdown span from Cantonese steamed buns at Bun House; to Taiwanese bubble tea from Cuppacha and YiFang; to Sichuanese hot pot from Shu Xiangge; to all things matcha at Tsujiri, and many more.

With 6,000 residents within a five-minute walk of Chinatown London, and 13 universities within a one-mile radius, the destination is well-placed to provide its rich and diverse culinary offer to customers craving something different during lockdown. This includes Japanese patisserie Sakurado, who chose to open during the second lockdown.

Julia Wilkinson, Restaurant Director at Shaftesbury, commented: “Chinatown London cannot be matched in terms of its diversity as a single F&B hub; while remaining true to its regional Chinese heritage, the breadth of choice has long been a cornerstone of its success. Lockdown restrictions have meant we have temporarily lost the buzz of high-footfall streets, but many of our tenants have stayed open to bring East Asian flavours to local people who are craving inspiration and variety, taking the destination’s vibrancy straight to dining tables at home.

“It’s often forgotten just how many people live in and around the West End, there are thousands of local residents and students within close proximity. The fact restaurants and cafes are open for takeaway and click & collect, and the opening of Sakurado in the midst of a lockdown, shows how much our tenants value the custom of local people.” 

Chin Teow, Tsujiri store owner, said: “Local residents bring so much to Chinatown London – we are more than a destination for them, we are part of their personal community space. We have stayed open for takeaway in the hope that they will be happy to have some escapism, something that food can offer even if they eat it outside or within their own home.

 “We are delighted to also have the outdoor seating return, when government guidelines allow for it to safely happen. When first introduced it was a great benefit to us and Chinatown London as a whole, creating the kind of vibrant environment we know so well here, but haven’t been able to experience throughout lockdown.”

The drive to bring East Asian cuisine to the tables of local residents is the latest in a series of initiatives by Shaftesbury designed to support tenants and customers alike in these challenging times. It started with #BringingChinatownHome in March, which helped people take inspiration from Chinatown London’s culture and cuisines from the safety of their own homes, with a virtual ‘routine’.

As the Summer brought customers back to Chinatown, Shaftesbury introduced the #LoveChinatown campaign, which saw the creation of an open air food destination with additional outdoor seating, and the installation of new multi-coloured lanterns to signify hope. As lockdown restrictions ease, Shaftesbury intend to reinstate the outdoor seating, keeping an al fresco dining environment at Newport Place until spring 2021, helping tenants that have had to reduce capacity inside their establishments for social distancing.

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